Record Details

NHER Number:32327
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Post-medieval double-sided seal ring


Metal detecting in 1996 recovered a post-medieval gold double-sided seal ring. One side of the seal bears a coat of arms, the other a skull as a memento mori. The ring is thought to have belonged to Sir Thomas Anguish (1536 to 1617), who was Mayor of Norwich from 1611, or to his cousin Edmund. The ring was sold at auction, then acquired by Norwich Castle Museum in 1997.

Images - none


Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TG02SW

Full description

1996. Metal-detecting. [1].
Post-medieval gold memento mori double sided seal ring.
Said by the finder to be Sir Thomas Anguish (b. 1536, d. 1617). He was Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich in 1611. The ring was thought to be shown on the portrait of Anguish in Blackfriars Hall.
Further research suggests that the ring in fact relates to the marriage of Thomas’ son, Edmond Anguish of Great Melton (b. 1573), to Alice Drake of Herringfleet.
The ring is of great importance to local social history due to the known link to a leading Norwich family. However, it is also the only ring of its type that can be attributed to a town-based mercantile family as opposed to aristocracy or gentry, making it a rare and important object in the study of social history as a whole.
See unpublished document (S1), newspaper articles (S2) to (S5), article (S6), photographs (S7) to (S9) and slides in file.
Acquired by Norwich Castle Museum in 1997 (NWHCM: 1999.85).
W. Milligan (NCM), 14 October 1996. Amended by A. Beckham (HES), 14 May 2021.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • FINGER RING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SEAL MATRIX (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Norwich Castle Museum. 1997. Purchase of 17th century gold signet ring by Norfolk museums Service for Norwich Castle Museum with the help of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Paper.
<S2>Newspaper Article: The Times. 1996. Expert unearths secrets of ring lost for 300 years. 16 November.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Dereham and Fakenham Times. 1996. Rare ring's story. 21 November.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Heritage grant secures return of love symbol. 26 November.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996-1997. [Articles and letters to the editor on the history a post medieval gold double-sided seal ring].
<S6>Article in Serial: 1997. The Ring Man's Tale.. Treasure Hunting.
<S7>Photograph: Christie's King Street. 1996. An important Renaissance memento mori swivelling gold signet ring. film. colour.
<S8>Photograph: [Unknown]. 1996?. Black and white transparency of a post-medieval gold double-sided seal ring from NHER 32327. film. black and white.
<S9>Photograph: JHN 19, 27, medieval seal ring, Arms of Anguish..

Related records - none

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