Mourning rings are prized by collectors because they bear such a wealth of information about when, where, and why they were created. While certain rings have us bent over our loupes for hours, squintily combing the internet for some example of a totally obscure maker's mark, the mourning ring's story unfolds easily, and the astonishingly beautiful piece that we picked up in London recently is no exception. With a super-slim width of about 2mm, it's inlaid with a swath of black enamel, which is slightly pockmarked with age but still intact. The inscription inside reads "Joseph Watson, died 14 Feb., 1849 aged 80." The real question now is who the ring belonged to. His widow? His son?
Please note that this ring is a US size 6.25, and cannot be re-sized.
To see this piece in person, visit our Manhattan shop at 173 Elizabeth Street.