The 15th century ring that may once have belonged to Joan of Arc has returned to France after 600 years. The silver-gilt piece owned by French heroine was put under the hammer by TimeLine Auctions where sold for a staggering £297,600, despite its estimated sum of £10,000 – £14,000. The ring was bought by the Puy du Fou foundation, which runs a historical theme park in France.
The ring was presented in an oak casket along with documentation including BBC features, newspaper articles, research notes and exhibition catalogues. It has been a first-communion gift to Joan from her parents and her connection to it has been detailed in catalogue printed by F. A. Harman Oates in 1917. The faceted bezel of the silver gilt ring is inscribed with the letters “I M” (representing Jesus Maria) instead of images of saints which is uncommon for this type of ring.
Joan gave the treasured ring to an English cardinal before she was burned at the stake in 1431. It remained in England ever since, and there is documentation to establish its provenance.
The ring will be unveiled at a press conference on March 20 and will be on public display in mid-April.