Rings 09.01.2012

Blue Enamel and Diamond Family Mourning Ring, Late 19thC

Blue Enamel Late Victorian Family Mourning Ring

It is quite an unusual and remarkable thing when a mourning or sentimental jewel takes on the properties of an entire family, rather than a singular dedication and this one not only fulfils this, but three times over!

The ring itself has a style which is very centred in the mid/latter 19th century, reflecting the high-empire style, which is simple and bold – not involving the popular and ubiquitous Rococo Revival styling so popular in sentimental jewels. In the middle of the bezel is a diamond and surrounding are six pearls, each correlating with a point on the ring, emulating a star. The shoulders are raised in a straight, simple line pattern. Inside all this is blue enamel (referencing the loved one’s status as that of royalty).

But it is inside the ring where it becomes even more interesting. There are three dedications, separated out from 1870-1874 (with one reference to “Papa” and “Easter Morn”) and a compartment for a hair memento under the bezel. The writing itself, with the dates and names, is quite small to fit in such a small ring, but it’s still as clear as when it was constructed.

It’s more common to find a ring that has been repurposed in a family line covering a great length of time (often up to sixty years or more), as the generational gap is larger, or a jewel to be polished back and repurposed by another person (the “In Memory Of” sentiment is an eternal one that sells jewels today). Here, we have a ring for many people in a short amount of time, making it quite poignant.

Year: Easter Morn, April 5th, 1874 / August 2, 1869 / 1870
Dedication: “Papa” A. Lowe / M.M Lowe / N. Lowe