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GeorgianHair and Enamel Mourning Ringfor Mary Alloway


From the 16th century through to the end of the 19th, locks of hair were regularly exchanged between family members and lovers. The art of making hair into jewelry, however, was generally reserved for memorializing a deceased loved one. An allotment of money was often set aside in a will to make mourning rings, lockets, or bracelets to commemorate the deceased, which were then given out after the funeral. This ring beautifully reflects the tastes at this particular period. The wide, almost cigar band style face, is enameled in black with the commemoration "Mary Alloway OB 31 March 1806 AE 65" surrounding a hairwork under crystal. The shank is beautifully rendered in gold wire.


  • Materials

    10k gold (tests), black enamel, rock crystal, hair.

  • Age


  • Condition

    Very good - some very minor wear to enamel.

  • Size

    7.5, resizing not recommended; 1.33 x 1.68cm head, 4.1mm hoop.

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RelatedHistory Lesson

Hair Jewelry:Worn in Remembrance

Jewelry made from hair allowed the bereaved to keep their loved one with them always.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Lockets:Magical, Medicinal, Memorial.

It’s hard to pinpoint when modern-day lockets were invented, but it’s believed that they evolved from ancient amulets.