STAFF at Tiverton Museum are appealing to the public to help purchase a gold posy ring, found at Uffculme which has the inscription I live in hope.

Posy rings are gold finger rings with a short inscription on the inside surface and were popular in England as lover’s gifts during the 15th to the 17th centuries.

This ring has engraved diagonal lines on the outside which may have once held enamel decoration. It dates from between 1500 to 1700 and is misshapen, perhaps due to plough damage.

Pippa Griffith, museum director, explains: “This posy ring is a really evocative object. It makes one wonder who the lovers were and whether the love was requites. We’ve also been thinking about how it got lost, was it thrown in a fit of rage into a field, or did it fall off causing great distress to the wearer?

“Whatever the story is, it is a wonderful opportunity to acquire an object from an earlier period as many of our objects date from the Victorian period onwards.”

The ring has been offered to the museum through the Treasure Act and as the landowner has generously waived his share of the reward, it only has to raise £87.50 to purchase the ring.

Donations to help the museum buy the ring and display it when it arrives are welcome. For further information on how you can help please telephone Pippa at the museum on 01884 256295.