databas cerddi guto'r glyn


Both men and women wore jewellery such as rings, brooches and chains. The most select of these were made of gold, adorned with beautiful beads or precious stones.
This ring-brooch dates from the fourteenth century and was found at Oxwich castle.
A ring-brooch from Oxwich castle
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This ring-brooch was found in Oxwich castle and dates from the early fourteenth century: it contains cameos of three heads, and two rubies. Brooches like these were usually worn to attach mantles or capes to the shoulders, as displayed on a number of effigies depicting nobility and gentry from this period.

A Welsh term for a type of jewellery in this period was cae. This word can refer to any kind of object, whether a hair ornament or a decoration on clothing, or a belt. There are suggestions in the poetry that a cae was usually a type of circular brooch. Guto’r Glyn, for example, refers to a cae arian in his poem to request an Irish mantle from Elen daughter of Robert Puleston of Llannerch, though in fact he is emphasizing that he wants a mantle rather than a silver brooch or a cae arian (poem 53.33). The giving of a cae or a brooch as a love token was a familiar tradition between lovers in this period.
This gold ring dates from the fifteenth century and was found at Raglan castle.
A gold ring from Raglan castle
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Gold finger-rings were also popular as gifts. Guto refers to three famous gifts that the poets had received from their patrons: Ifor Hael gave Dafydd ap Gwilym a pair of gloves; Maud daughter of Sir William Clement gave Iolo Goch a finger-ring and Catrin daughter of Maredudd of Abertanad gave Guto’r Glyn a purse (for the latter, see Purses). Unfortunately, no poem by Iolo Goch concerning this finger-ring has survived.

Several gold rings have been discovered dating from this period. The most important, perhaps, is the one from Raglan castle. It is a ring inscribed with the letters 'W' and 'A'. It is quite possible that these letters represent the initials of Sir William Herbert I and his wife Ann Herbert of Raglan. Individuals of lower status wore less ornate gold rings, and many have been found that date from this period.[1]


[1]: G. Egan & F. Pritchard, Dress Accessories: 1150—1450 (London, 1991), 325.
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