Antique Georgian Memorial Mourning Ring. Gold, diamonds, pearls and blue enamel. Made in the United Kingdom, 18th century.
Measurements: Weight is 5.3 grams. US size 9 1/4. UK size S.
Description: The bezel arches gently to fit the shape of the finger. It has a border of small pearls. The ground is blue enamel and running down the middle, lengthways, is a line of diamonds. Bezel is surrounded with a perimeter of small pearls. The hoop or band of this ring is wide and flat at the bezel, tapering slightly towards the back, very generous and broad in size and design. This is a Classic Georgian ring - understated elegance, beautifully made.
The ring is very richly engraved on the back of the bezel, inside in the shank. It commemorates both wife and husband as follows: ary Woodward ob 14 Oct 1786 ae 61 Thos Woodward ob 18 Nov 1797 ae 82. In this way, we can date the ring squarely to the end of the 18th century.
Marks and Metal: Electronic tested 12k.
Condition: Good with negligible wear commensurate with age. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
This special ring is of a type known as "bagues au firmament", or "rings of the heavens." The deep blue enamel was intended to evoke the night sky, and the pearls and diamonds, the stars. It is said that Marie Antoinette was a fan of this style which originated in France and wore her bague au firmament daily. Typically, the English are firmly of the opinion that they invented this dark blue enamelling and it was traditionally given from one member of the royal family to another. Hence, according to the English, the name Royal Blue Enamel. (see page 120 of Georgian Jewellery by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings).
Independent appraisal available to new owner upon request.