‘Joan of Arc’ ring sells for £240,000 after English v French bidding battle

joan of arc ringA medieval ring long associated with Joan of Arc sold for £240,000 – almost 30 times its estimate – at Timeline Auctions in Bloomsbury on February 25.

It was bought by two French solicitors thought to be acting on behalf of the French government.

In the transcript of Joan’s Trial of Condemnation in 1431 several references are made to her two rings – including one fitting this description engraved to the faces with three crosses and the initials IHS and MAR (as abbreviations for Jesus and Maria). She claimed it was on her hand when she touched

St Catherine, who appeared to her in a vision telling her to support the uncrowned French king Charles.

By repute the early 15th century ring was given to Henry Beaufort (1375-1447), an English cardinal who was present at the heresy trial and execution of Joan. It then descended through the Cavendish-Bentinck family and by the Edwardian period was owned by the artist Augustus John.

The vendor of the ring for this sale was Robert Hasson, who lives in Essex. His father James Hasson, a Harley Street doctor and physician to Charles De Gaulle and the Free French Forces during the Second World War, bought it at Sotheby’s in 1947 for £175.

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