An English, late fifteenth-century love or marriage ring discovered in 2013 with a metal detector near Launde Abbey, an Elizabethan manor house once home to Thomas Cromwell’s son, will be offered for auction by Sotheby’s in London on 9 July 2015 in a sale of Old Master Sculpture & Works of Art. Estimated at £20,000-30,000, the ring is an early and exceptionally lavish example of its kind, on which the bond between husband and wife is symbolised by two different gems, a point-cut diamond and a rounded ruby. The engraved sprigs on the partially enamelled shoulders of the ring are typical of a goldsmith’s work in fifteenth-century England. From the 12th century onwards, the site near Launde Abbey – situated in the valley of the river Chater in East Norton, Leicestershire – was occupied by a large and wealthy Augustinian Priory. Thomas Cromwell was so impressed by the building and the location that he presented

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