Pope Innocent VIII: A Renaissance Ceremonial Ring

Pope Innocent VIII: A Renaissance Ceremonial Ring

Pope Innocent VIII: A Renaissance Ceremonial Ring

Father Richard Kunst
About This Type of Papal Ring

There is a bit of mystery to this type of papal ring, but most tend to believe they were not actually worn by the pope, given the quantities produced and the inexpensive materials used. Actual “Fishermans’ rings” would have been much more lavish with the use of real gold and embedded precious minerals.   

This type of ring is thought to have been given by the pope to a representative at functions, or to papal couriers who were delivering messages from him to other church figures or sovereigns.   They were meant to be large, so as to act as a noticeable credential, and purposefully were made of gold gilt bronze so as not to have such intrinsic value they would be a temptation to thieves.  They are decorated with the coats of arms of popes, the “triple crown” papal symbol and various other papal symbols identifying the reigning pope. This one has the Gothic word, “Papalm,” meaning, “Papal.”

Because of their noticeable size they probably were not intended to be worn for any extended period.

The 16th Century Papal Ceremonial Ring Featured Above
Pope Innocent VIII

The artifact is a 16th century papal ceremonial ring.  Like all ceremonial rings it is oversized.  This one is bronze and has remains of gilding. 

The rectangular ring head has foiled rock crystal in a pyramidal cabochon style cut.

The sides of the ring have the symbols of the four evangelists in high relief, and the crossed keys, symbol of the papacy, are featured above the coat of arms.

Underneath the angel of Saint Matthew is a copper mitre, another papal symbol.

The ring band bears a Gothic inscription, “PAPALM,” which translates to, “papal.”

It is in very good condition.

  • Date April 26, 2024
  • Tags Ceremonial Ring