SBT 1868-3/274

A signet ring which possibly belonged to William Shakespeare, late sixteenth or early seventeenth century.
Date Made:
about 1600s
A gold signet ring, late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, bearing the initials 'W S' intertwined with a lover's knot. It is thought that this ring, which would have been used to authenticate documents by creating an initialled seal, may have belonged to William Shakespeare. It was found near the churchyard of Stratford-upon-Avon's Holy Trinity Church in 1810 and it is conjectured that he may have lost it prior to amending his will in 1616. In the will, the phrase 'whereof I have hereunto put my hand and Seale' was altered by the substitution of the word 'hand' for 'Seale'. It has been suggested that Shakespeare may have lost his ring after the wedding of his daughter Judith at the church in 1616. The style of the ring is consistent with its supposed date of origin and there were very few other people living in Stratford-upon-Avon at this time with the initials 'W.S.'.
inscription : : face : initials and lover's knot : W S
0.625 ins
0.75 ins
metal , gold
Place Made:
, , , , England ,
Associated Person:
Shakespeare, William
Named Collection:
Wheler Collection
Current Location:
Shakespeare Centre