Mourning Ring

1860-1861 (made)
Mourning Ring thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Memorial rings have been made to commemorate people since the sixteenth century. Money was often left in wills in order for rings to be made for named individuals or to be distributed at the funeral.

This ring was made to commemorate Hannah Darby who died in 1860. The jewelled letters AEI are from the Greek word for 'Always'. This was a popular addition to love and mourning jewellery. The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning owned a ring with the same motto, which her husband Robert Browning wore on his watch chain after her untimely death. Rings such as this could be bought from jewellery retailers and the inscription added to personalise them. The London jewellery firm of John Brogden have designs for rings like this, dating from 1860.



object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Enamelled and engraved gold
Brief Description
Gold mourning ring, enamelled in black. The rounded rectangular bezel inscribed AEI in diamond sparks. Inscribed inside Hannah Darby died 20th Decr 1860. Aged 77. with London hallmarks for 1860-1861 and maker's mark 'GI'.
Physical Description
Gold mourning ring, enamelled in black. The rounded rectangular bezel inscribed AEI in diamond sparks. Inscribed inside Hannah Darby died 20th Decr 1860. Aged 77. with London hallmarks for 1860-61 and Maker's mark 'GI'.
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.6cm
  • Width: 2.5cm
  • Depth: 0.7cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • AEI (inscription on the hoop; outside; in diamond sparks)
  • Hannah Darby died 20th Decr 1860. Aged 77. (inscription inside)
  • hallmarks (London hallmarks for 1860-61)
  • marked 'GI' (Maker's mark)
Subjects depicted
Summary
Memorial rings have been made to commemorate people since the sixteenth century. Money was often left in wills in order for rings to be made for named individuals or to be distributed at the funeral.



This ring was made to commemorate Hannah Darby who died in 1860. The jewelled letters AEI are from the Greek word for 'Always'. This was a popular addition to love and mourning jewellery. The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning owned a ring with the same motto, which her husband Robert Browning wore on his watch chain after her untimely death. Rings such as this could be bought from jewellery retailers and the inscription added to personalise them. The London jewellery firm of John Brogden have designs for rings like this, dating from 1860.



Collection
Accession Number
M.20-1970

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record createdApril 27, 2006
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