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Ref  NC6  Treasure Trove

Fine quality and substantial memento mori skull and crossbones ring commemorating  Sarah Doding, who died in 1679. The weighty high carat gold hoop is set with a composite and white enamel skull and crossbones device, with a rose, a thistle and a poppy reserved on a ground of black enamel on the hoop. To interior the details of the deceased in Italic enamelled lettering : Mrs Sarah Doding died 26 Nov : 79 and a maker's mark. The spelling of Dodding as Doding typifies the non-standardised spelling of the time. The symbols on the ring reflect the politics of the day. Charles II was back on the throne as King of England and Scotland and in 1677 he had married his niece Mary to the Protestant William of Orange to reaffirm his own Protestant credentials. The rose symbolises England, the thistle Scotland and the poppy Holland. 
The ring was disclaimed as treasure and as such it is recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme Database [see details below], which also shows a map of where it was recovered. According to research on that website by the finder of the ring, Sarah Dodding was heiress to Conishead Priory in Ulverston. In 1537 Conishead Priory had been seized by the Crown under the Act of Suppression and the estate eventually passed to the Dodding family. In 1638 Sarah married John Braddyll of Portfield, thus conveying Conishead to the Braddylls, who made it their family seat for almost two centuries. The ring is size O and 1/4 [US 7 and 1/8] and the hoop is just over 1/8 of an inch wide. An historically interesting piece.

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