Memento Mori - Stuart Crystal Skull Ring c. 1761
During the 16th and 17th century the memento mori ring evolved as a means of reminding an individual of the transitory nature of life. Later on the ring developed into a form of memorial jewelry inscribed with the name and date of the passing of a person. This type of ring is always British in origin and stems from that 17th century tradition.
This is a late example of the memento mori ring as this form faded from use during the 1760s. Constructed from high carat yellow gold, a hexagonal bezel is set with a faceted six-sided gem of rock crystal. Although becoming increasingly scarce by this time, the earlier memento mori motif of a white enamel skull on a black enamel ground is placed beneath the crystal.
The hoop is designed in the manner of the more lighthearted asymmetrical Rococo style and divided into five black enameled scrolls and displays fine attention to detail in the scrollwork of the gold. The scrolls are inscribed with “W Harrison Ob 2 Sept 1761 AE 69” which is worked into the gold of the band. This translates to an individual with the name of W. Harrison (lady or gentleman) passed on the 2 of September 1761 at the respectable age of 69.
Measurements: Just shy of 1/2 of an inch (0.5 cm) in width north to south on the finger. Weight of 2.5 grams (1.6 dwt).
Ring Size: US 6-1/2 (UK M-1/2; Euro 17, 53 mm). This antique ring cannot be sized by traditional means. It can be sized down by inserts; please contact us for more information.
Condition: Excellent condition; remarkable for its age; a bit of minute wear to the enamel.
Date & Origin: Circa 1761 and is English in origin.
Important: This ring should not be exposed to any liquids, water, cleaning products or harsh chemicals due to the nature of the foil backed stone. If considering this as an engagement ring, please keep this in mind.