A fine ring set with a large, rectangular sentimental miniature painted “en grisaille” depicting a young boy at his mother’s knee in a wooded setting. A swan sits in a tree branch at the upper right. At the bottom is the inscription “Amitie Filliale” – filial friendship - a gift from a son to his mother.
Sentimental rings of this type were exchanged between friends, lovers and family members throughout the late 18th century. Frequently described – mistakenly – as mourning rings, these actually symbolized everlasting bonds of love and friendship during the lifetime of the giver, and served as a reminder of a loved one after death. Several beautiful examples exist. A particularly fine example is entry #125 of Diana Scarisbrick’s “Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty”, copyright 2007, depicting cupid linked to Father Time with an eternal knot. In spite of the French inscription this ring is probably English in origin. The setting is rose gold plate over silver. Excellent condition, the back of the band shows some abrasions.
Gross weight: 11.5 grams
Size 6 ½ US, the plaque measures 32mm x 19mm (approximately 1 ¼” x ¾ “)
Provenance: from a sale of an important collection of rings, Sotheby’s, “Important Silver, Gold Boxes and Objets de Vertu”, London, June 7, 2007