Dating to c.1695-1705, this remarkable Stuart crystal mourning ring was among my discoveries on my recent buying trip, and like the vast majority of my purchases, it is in 100% intact, beautifully-wearable condition!
Measuring 8.5 mm x 8.5 mm across the octagonal bezel, this example likely dates to c.1700, when the fashionable shape for these special mourning jewels transitioned from the round to the cushion. The rock crystal is beautifully faceted, and displays the initials "J.B." (or I.B.) in gold wire atop a tiny, woven hair token. Additional gold wire encircles the hair token, which is set atop a red foil.
The crystal (as well as the shank) is mounted in sterling-grade silver rather than in gold, indicating that this ring was possibly made for a Puritan. Although the Puritans liked to keep fashionable like their more courtly-minded neighbors, they denounced the use of flashy jewelry, and much of their early jewelry was wrought in silver rather than gold. This would explain the silver mounting, plain hoop shank, and lack of typical engraved rays behind the bezel.
Perhaps best of all, this ring has made it into the 21st century in 100% intact condition, without damage, losses or repairs after 310+ years! This ring has never even suffered re-sizing, and is a just a hair over a size 5. Due to it's great age, I strongly advise against re-sizing this ring, as it would alter it's highly-desirable condition, but it could be done with a laser. The solid silver shank is sturdy, and the ring weighs in at 3.24 grams.
Simply an exquisite example of a Stuart crystal mourning ring, this English ring is suitable for gentle wear by a lady, or as a pinky ring by a gentleman. This ring has not been cleaned, and boasts a delicious patina to the silver which only the passing of generations can impart! If you collect the BEST in historic jewelry, this important ring belongs on your hand and in your collection! It would also make a stellar holiday gift for anyone who cherishes the best in pre-Georgian jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this beauty; up to 90-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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