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Ref GL1 Hourglass Mourning Ring
A most extraordinary mourning ring, circa 1790. The gold pierced shank supports a head set with a foiled almandine garnet between diamond shoulders, with all gems in foiled and closed back settings. This is a fairly standard design for a late 18th century ring. Yet the reverse of the ring is remarkable. I have never seen a Georgian mourning ring with such reverse detail and I cannot find a parallel example in jewellery reference books or museum collections. Wrought from gold and silver, between Rococo scrolls, are an iris set with rose-cut diamonds, representing faith and hope and an hourglass also set with rose-cut diamonds. The hourglass, measuring time until its sand runs out, is an allegory of life and death. The ring is size O and 1/2 [US 7 and 1/4] and the gemset head measures 3/4 of an inch by 1/4 of an inch. Quite out of the ordinary.
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