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Ref  NY5   Tudor Death's Head Ring

An exceptionally rare Tudor memento mori ring, circa 1550 -1600. Such rings were a timely reminder of the importance of spiritual preparation for death and one is listed in Henry VIII's inventory : A ring of golde with a deathes hedde. This high carat gold ring has a hexagonal bezel with central skull, around which is inscribed the name of the deceased, Iames [James] Porlace. The ring is decorated with volutes and foliate shoulders. It is size I and 1/2 [US 4 and 1/2] and is in remarkably good condition, with traces of original enamel intact. For similar, see Plate 37 in Scarisbrick's Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery and other examples are in the Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum jewellery collections.

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