A very fine French 18th century ring with a cipher, or monogram, of the initials D.B. (or B.D.) cut from gold sheet and set on a lock of hair covered with a glass frame. The oval bezel setting is set with 22 seed pearls, likely natural. The foliate/scroll acanthus shoulders, typical of the Louis XVI era, terminate in a “cage” setting that enables the ring to sit comfortably on the finger. This could have been either a mourning ring or a sentimental ring to remind the recipient of the giver, both in life and after death.
Beautiful condition, it has some deterioration of the hair which gives the glass a slightly cloudy look. It would be possible to carefully remove the glass and clean it, but we prefer to leave it as found. Rings such as these are increasingly scarce.
Size 7 US
French guarantee mark for 18k gold, the bezel measures 23mm x 17mm
Provenance: from a sale of an important collection of rings, Sotheby’s, “Important Silver, Gold Boxes and Objets de Vertu”, London, June 7, 2007