Plain Sentiment: Georgian Memorial Ring of 1758
Memorial rings are a subset of what is referred to as “sentimental jewelry”, i.e. jewelry of love and sorrow. Rings, such as this touching Georgian example circa 1758 were typically fashioned as gold hoops and annotated with the name, date of passing and age at death.
Made of high carat gold, this scrolled ring shows only traces of white enamel ornamenting the outer surface of the band. Chased with “W Biggar ob 30 June 1758 ae 51”, this denotes that an individual, either male or female departed from this earthly realm on June 30, 1758 at the age of 51. Beautifully rendered with a scrolled perimeter, the white enamel represents a pure individual, such as a child, unmarried or a member of the clergy. For similar rings please refer to page 7 of “Sentimental Jewellery” by Ann Louise Luthi.
Measurements: 1/8 of an inch (0.3 cm) in length north to south on the hand. Weight of 4.2 grams (2.7 dwt).
Ring Size: US 6-3/4 to 7 (UK N; Int. Dia. 17.25; Euro 54.5 mm; Japan just under 14). We do not recommend sizing up but can be sized down with orbs or butterfly insert. Contact us for more details.
Condition: Good; medium wear and a bit of softening to letters; white enamel originally around the letters and numbers but now deficient except for tiny traces visible with a loupe.
Date & Origin: Circa 1758 and is English in origin.
Historical Notes: The tradition of wearing a piece of jewelry in commemoration of the loss of a person is said to have begun in the mid 17th century with the execution of King Charles I. His ardent followers took to wearing jewelry with his portrait miniature or a piece of his hair in remembrance. The later part of the century found the practice shifting towards the distribution of rings bearing the name and other information about the departed to loved ones and friends
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