Silver gild square brooch: late 13th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Silver gild square brooch. This brooch is set with eight garnets, one at each corner and one in each side.There is an inscription around it; The inscription is in French and reads: "+I/O:A/I.E/N.C/LO/S. [?]/RA/NI". It begins "I hold enclosed ..." or "I clasp ...", but the last word is partly obscured by a replacement gem-setting, and has so far defeated interpretation. It may well carry something of the meaning of an inscription on a brooch in the British Museum: "I am a brooch to guard the breast, that no rascal may put his hand thereon". French was popular for romantic inscriptions on jewellery as well as being used at the royal court and in trade dealings. This brooch was broken and repared in antiquity.
1260 AD - 1300 AD