This spectacular eighteenth century mourning ring is a wonderful example of the fine craftsmanship of Georgian era jewelers. It is a textbook example of the most popular style of mourning ring in this period which consisted of a wavy hoop (designed to mimic the shape of humerus bones), extraordinarily fine enamel and gold work, and a diamond set at the center to round it all out. The foil-backed .20ct old mine cut diamond is wrapped in a closed silver collet, which is in turn mounted in a carefully tooled 18k gold. The delicate gold script within black enamel reads "JOA ORAM OB: 14 JULY 1734 AET 60." The surname "Oram" is old Norse in origin and common in the north of England, "Joa" could be a shortening of "Jonathan", "Joan", or "Joanna", just to name a few possibilities. Regardless of gender, the person whose memory was honored by this very fancy ring was clearly a member of the elite, he or she exceeded the average life expectancy in the 1700s by 20 years (no small feat), and a piece of this quality would have cost significantly more than most people earned in a year in 1734. This ring is a US size 6 and cannot be re-sized.
To see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, New York.