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Historic 17th century ring fetches more than £17,000 at auction

The piece of jewellery, which was found on the banks of Loch Lomond and has links to King Charles II, had been valued at £10,000.

The 17th century gold ring was declared to the Scottish Treasure Trove Unit (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The 17th century gold ring was declared to the Scottish Treasure Trove Unit (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Conor Riordan, PA Scotland

A 17th century ring with links to King Charles II has sold for more than £17,000 at auction.

Metal detectorist Michelle Vall from Blackpool, Lancashire, found the jewellery at Duck Bay on Loch Lomond while exploring the area with her husband.

She declared the ring to the Scottish Treasure Trove Unit at the National Museum of Scotland but was told in June the museum did not want to buy it.

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The ring was found at the southern end of Loch Lomond (Yui Mok/PA)

After it was returned she contacted auction house Dix Noonan Webb (DNW), which discovered the crest belonged to the Colman family, of Brent Eleigh, Suffolk.

It valued the historic piece at £10,000.

The ring, found last November, is believed to have belonged to Edward Colman, who became a convert to Catholicism and was later found guilty of treason and hung, drawn and quartered.

It went under the hammer in DNW’s Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu sale in London on Tuesday and sold for £17,360 with buyer’s premium.

Mrs Vall said: “I’m relieved it’s all over – it’s quite a moment after waiting for so long.

“The whole auction side of it was quite scary, you wonder how it’s going to go. I’m very pleased with the outcome.”

She added her half of the earnings – the rest goes to the landowner – would be put away to pay for future metal detector travelling.

It is not the first time Mrs Vall has found a valuable object.

A few years ago she found a rare gold half angel coin struck during the reign of the Richard III, which sold at auction for £40,800 in December 2017.

The inside of her latest find, which is thought to date from 1640-80, is engraved with I for Jesus, which could indicate the owner was a member of the Jesuits.

Colman established himself at court in 1661, acting as a bodyguard to the king, and by 1673 had been appointed secretary to fellow Catholic, Mary of Modena, wife of James, Duke of York, the younger brother and heir presumptive to the Protestant King Charles II, who reigned from 1660-85.

During the end of the 1670s, James and Mary had been living in Edinburgh and in 1680 the king made James Commissioner for Scotland.

In September 1678, Titus Oates made fanciful claims of a “Popish Plot”, accusing nearly 550 Jesuits of involvement in plots to assassinate the king, with Colman among the accused.

He was found guilty of treason and in November 1678 was hung, drawn and quartered.

Now considered to be a Catholic martyr, Colman was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1929.

PA

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