A one-of-a-kind gold ring with four baby teeth set in a cruciform pattern, possibly Byzantine Revival. The back of the ring has a shallow compartment which may have held a lock of hair under glass (now missing).
Like many 19th century trends, Queen Victoria set the standard and launched numerous trends for nearly 70 years. She started the rage for setting babies’ teeth in jewelry after having those of Princess Beatrice set into fuchsia shaped earrings during the early 1860s. Baby teeth jewelry appears on the market from time to time, but each piece is always completely unique, a representation of the style of the wearer. Each item would have been deeply personal as a result of both material and design. There is a common misconception that jewelry made from human hair or babies’ teeth were memento mori, mourning or some other type of jewelry made post-mortem as a remembrance. Many items were made for that purpose, but many were also made as a token of love while the person was still alive. Simultaneously creepy and charming, it’s an interesting and poignant way for a mother to capture that precious and fleeting moment in time that is early childhood. Baby teeth rings are relatively scarce, but what makes them rare is that no two are alike.
Size 7 1/2 US and can be sized; the central motif is 12mm x 12mm
Gross weight: 3 grams
Unmarked, the ring shows evidence of a previous sizing. The glass for the rear compartment is missing