Mourning Ring thumbnail 1
Mourning Ring thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Mourning Ring

early 19th century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Rings have been distributed at funerals in Britain since the sixteenth century. It was customary for people with assets to leave money in their wills to have rings made and given to friends and family. This is a particularly fine example of an early nineteenth century memorial ring, set with amethyst pastes and a neo-classical funeral urn on a white enamel background. The ring commemorates George Richard Savage Nassau (1756-1823), a country gentleman and book collector from Suffolk. His library, described as 'choice, curious and valuable' contained over 1600 important seventeenth and eighteenth century books when it was sold at auction in 1824.

His will left instructions to give mourning rings, valued at six guineas each to the following: Reverend H.I. Berners, Sir William Rowley, John Wright Esq., Reverend William Gibson, Sir William Parker Bt., Sir Francis Hilman, Captain Hopkins, Reverend William Garratt, William Berners Esq., Reverend Dr Kilderlee, Colonel Dupuis, John Phillips Esq., Sir Robert Spencer Kilderlee Esq., James Saicer Esq., James Wenn Esq., Earl Ludlow, George Farrant Esq., John Butler Esq., and Reverend Samuel Jones Knight. It seems likely that the V&A ring was part of this group.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Enamelled gold set with amethyst pastes
Brief Description
Gold mourning ring, enamelled in white and set with amethyst pastes. The shaped oval bezel with an urn decorated with transluscent enamel on white. Inscribed behind GEO/ NASSAU/ ARM/ OB:18. AUG 1823/ AET: 66., England, early 19th century.
Physical Description
Gold mourning ring, enamelled in white and set with amethyst pastes. The shaped oval bezel with an urn decorated with transluscent enamel on white. Inscribed behind GEO/ NASSAU/ ARM/ OB:18. AUG 1823/ AET: 66..
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.4cm
  • Width: 2.4cm
  • Depth: 2.3cm
Marks and Inscriptions
GEO/ NASSAU/ ARM/ OB:18. AUG 1823/ AET: 66. (Inscription.)
Credit line
Given by Dame Joan Evans
Historical context
George Richard Savage Nassau (1756-1823) was a bibliophile, of Easton, Suffolk.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Rings have been distributed at funerals in Britain since the sixteenth century. It was customary for people with assets to leave money in their wills to have rings made and given to friends and family. This is a particularly fine example of an early nineteenth century memorial ring, set with amethyst pastes and a neo-classical funeral urn on a white enamel background. The ring commemorates George Richard Savage Nassau (1756-1823), a country gentleman and book collector from Suffolk. His library, described as 'choice, curious and valuable' contained over 1600 important seventeenth and eighteenth century books when it was sold at auction in 1824.



His will left instructions to give mourning rings, valued at six guineas each to the following: Reverend H.I. Berners, Sir William Rowley, John Wright Esq., Reverend William Gibson, Sir William Parker Bt., Sir Francis Hilman, Captain Hopkins, Reverend William Garratt, William Berners Esq., Reverend Dr Kilderlee, Colonel Dupuis, John Phillips Esq., Sir Robert Spencer Kilderlee Esq., James Saicer Esq., James Wenn Esq., Earl Ludlow, George Farrant Esq., John Butler Esq., and Reverend Samuel Jones Knight. It seems likely that the V&A ring was part of this group.

Collection
Accession Number
M.168-1962

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record createdApril 24, 2006
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