Dated to and inscribed for 1794, I am thrilled to present this outstanding English mourning ring for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Measuring a grand 1 3/8" long x 5/8" wide, this beautiful sentimental jewel is a Neoclassical wonder! This ring boasts a PHENOMENAL, high-karat yellow gold plinth, column and urn, all enameled in dark blue and white; this sublime work of the 18th-century lapidary's art is set above a plaited light brown hair token, and covered with it's original optical crystal! The ring is mounted in rose-gold, which was the fashionable color of choice for ring settings during the 1790s.
This ring is inscribed on the back of the convex bezel with the sentiment "Ann Vaughn/Obt. 4th Mar(ch), 1794/Aet 60." Mrs. Vaughn must have been an 18th-century lady of great wealth to have commissioned mourning rings of this incredible quality, and this jewel still commemorates her life 223 years later! As with most rings of the 1790s, this example boasts broad shoulders tapering back to a hoop shank. The rear of the bezel is curved so as to hug the finger, making this ring very comfortable to wear.
Best of all, this ring has survived into it's third century in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for; all of the elements are intact, and the setting is pristine, showing no alteration! The only element that has come loose is what appears to be a fingernail-shaped bit of hair which has slipped to the 6:00 position; as this ring has an insert-style frame within the bezel, this could likely be re-set by a good bench jeweler, but it is perfectly wearable in its present state.
The crystal is free from scratches, indicating that this jewel was treated with kid gloves over the past two centuries. In fact, I do not see that it has ever been re-sized! This jewel represents the apex of late 18th-century Neoclassical design, and makes for a fabulous statement ring today! I have taken this ring out for a "test drive" at a few shows, and several people wanted to buy it right off of my hand!
This ring is a size 6, and could be conservatively re-sized, but I recommend only doing so by laser, as heat would destroy the contents of this precious ring. Suitable for wear by a lady or as an impressive pinky ring for a gentleman, this regal jewel is a finger full of beauty and history, and represents a wonderful investment opportunity for the serious collector! The ring weighs a substantial 8.42 grams.
In my 25+ years as a collector, dealer and scholar of early jewelry, this beautiful ring is one of the finest mourning rings I have ever had the pleasure to pass through my hands; it is second-to-none, and the quality is exceptional! If you cherish the finest in Georgian mourning jewelry, this ring belongs on your hand and in your collection! It would also make a thrilling gift for anyone who loves Neoclassical history, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this English masterpiece in miniature; up to 60-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
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