Wedding Rings in Period

Gunnora Hallakarva gunnora at
Sun Oct 20 22:44:22 PDT 1996

Here's another interesting tidbit I gathered from the Historical Costuming
news list.


Date:    Sun, 20 Oct 1996 15:31:49 -0700
From:    Trudy <bambi at RESORT.COM>
Subject: wedding rings

i happened to find a book yesterday which discuessed (only a little) wedding
rings and on which finger they were worn...i just wrote down some notes, so i'm
only paraphrsing here:

during the period of george I in england, the wedding ring was usually
worn on the thumb (although it was placed on the fourth -- i guess what
we consider the ring -- finger during the ceremony).  apparently very large
wedding rings were fashionable which necessitated waering them on the

in france from the 11th to the 15th centuries, they wre usually on the right
hand, middle finger; s in some areas they were on the fourth finger.

the guals and the britons of the 1st century wore the ring on the middle
finger (didn't say which hand).

the order of matrimony in england, pre-freformation said that men
should wear their wedding ring on their right hand, women on the left.

chirlandajo's frescoes in the curch of santa croce in florence show
the betrothal of the ivrgin (make that backspace c key here)
mary -- the ring is placed by joseph on mary's fourth vinger, right hand.

during the betrothal of lucrezia borgia with giv ARGH make that giovanni
sforza on feb. 2, 1493, the wedding (engagement) ring was placed on her
fourth finger, left hand.

and finally, an idea that might explain the custom of wearing the wedding
ring on the thumb -- the second digit of the thumb was dedicated to
the virgin mary.

this is all from "rings for the finger", by george frederick kunz,
dover press, 1917 (repreinted i believe late 1940s).  i found thi s book
used at Green Apple Books on Clement St. in San Francisco (i didn't buy
it so it's still there ) if any bay area people are interested.

-Kendra Van Cleave

Gunnora Hallakarva
Ek eigi visa (th)ik hversu o(dh)lask Lofstirrlauf-Kruna
heldr hversu na Hersis-A(dh)al

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