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Antique 18K Lapis Lazuli Signet Ring "I neither Fear Nor Despise"

Antique 18K Lapis Lazuli Signet Ring "I neither Fear Nor Despise"

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Pre 1900: Item # 1457078
Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room
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P.O. Box 4684
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
tel. 410-435-3738

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This is a striking lapis signet ring with an insignia that reads "Nec Timeo Nec Sperno", Latin for "I neither fear nor despise". The motto is inscribed in a banner that sits below an engraved image of a closed fist holding a sword upright. This was the motto for several different surnames of English and Irish origin, including the name Greene (the descendants of whom settled in Rhode Island); the surname Polglaze (the meaning of which is "green pool"; glaze means green while pol means pool), and the Penglase family (meaning green pond; the word pen means pond). Other family surnames for which Nec Timeo Nec Sperno is the motto include: Hamilton, Shepphard-Cotton, Shippard, and Pagan. The motto also represents the Irish surname O'Connor. With the quotation in reverse, (Nec Sperno Nec Timeo), it is the motto for the Cogswell family and The Ellames family. The motto can also be translated to mean "No Fear and No Scorn". The fist clutching the upright sword signifies honor or virtue, in particular military honor or valor, and is a symbol of justice. All family crest information obtained from "Fairbairn's Crests of Families of England and Ireland", p. 566.