Very Rare Georgian Enamel Skull Ring
Memento mori jewelry has been found in Europe as early as the 15th century when black and white enameled coffins, skeletons or heads were set into brooches or rings as a warning of the inevitability of death. The later centuries brought a shift to the meaning of this type of jewelry to one of a memorial rather than cautionary nature.
The use of white in any form of memorial jewelry is unusual and when used was reserved for children, unmarried adults or clergy. When incorporated into a skull ring the scarceness and rarity magnifies. This magnificent example is guaranteed to be of at least 15k or higher yellow gold as The Three Graces does not want to damage the piece by scraping the gold for an acid test.
Centered is a faceted rock crystal with the image of a skull underneath. Encasing the rock crystal is a simple gold bezel with a beautiful basket weave pattern on the verso. The white enamel gold band itself has elegant curves and a slight scallop to the yellow gold perimeter. Inscribed in capital letters on separate enameled panels is “Christ. Alderson Ob. 27 Aug 1736, AET 33” translated Christian Alderson passed on 27th of August in 1736 at the age of age 33.
Measurements: 3/16 of an inch (0.4 cm) at the widest north to south on the hand. Weight of 3.4 grams (2.2 dwt).
Ring Size: US 7-1/2 (UK) O-1/2; Euro 17.75; 56 mm). Cannot be sized up but may be sized down with an insert. Please contact us for details.
Condition: Very good for its age; some enamel loss and small pitting throughout. Crystal is original and fine; skull underneath remains clear and fine.
Date & Origin: Circa 1736 and is English in origin.
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