Georgian Memento Mori Ring Skull Hair Memorial Black Enamel
In the Georgian Era Death was always nearby, always just around the corner. It was a time when women and babies routinely died during childbirth, a time before antibiotics, when an infection from a simple cut would kill you if you didn’t cut off the limb in time. It was a time when diseases ran rampant, when they bled you to let out the sickness, when the ideas of germs or the simple act of washing hands were virtually unknown. It’s really not a wonder then, that at a time when just living was a bit more of an everyday miracle, people embraced Death in a very different way.
A ring like this one is called a Memento Mori, it’s Latin for ‘Remember that you must die’. Set with the hair of the deceased to keep a piece of them near; at a time when you weren’t left with photos or videos of your loved one. This ring is also set with a tiny skull, just to drive home the point. Remember that you must die.
This fantastic Grand Damme of a memorial ring is set with hair and a small skull under a dome of crystal. The top of the ring is done in 18 karat gold with stunning geometric black enamel accents, the band of the ring is 9 karat gold. This mix of metals is not unusual for the time that this ring was made, as jewelers worked with whatever they had on hand, precious metals weren’t so easy to come by. This is a large-scale ring, it measures 19.3 mm north to south and 18.5 mm across at the face, and narrows to 5 mm at the back of the band. The ring is a size 9.25 US and weighs 6.1 grams.
This hand crafted ring was made around 1780, almost certainly in England. Care should be taken when wearing this 240 year old ring, it should be kept dry and treated gently.
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