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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1795 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled and engraved gold

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 12, shelf B, box 9

From the early seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century, testators left money in their wills to have rings with commemorative inscriptions made and distributed to their friends and families. Simple bands enamelled with the name and life dates of the deceased were frequently made, sometimes set with a gemstone or a bezel set with a rock crystal covering a symbol such as a coffin or initials in gold wire. In the later 18th century, rings followed neo-classical designs, their oval bezels often decorated with the same designs as funerary monuments such as urns, broken pillars and mourning figures. Hair from the deceased was incorporated into the designs or set in a compartment at the back of the ring to give each jewel a uniquely personal element. Black or white enamel were favoured though white enamel was often, though not universally used to commemorate children and unmarried adults.

The inscription on this ring commemorates Jonathan Brown who died 24 November 1795, aged 66.

Physical description

Gold mourning ring enamelled in black and white. The dished circular bezel is decorated with a white enamelled urn. Inscribed behind Jno Brown/ Ob.24.Novr/ 1795/ Aet:66.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1795 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Enamelled and engraved gold

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed Jno Brown/ Ob.24.Novr/ 1795/ Aet:66.


Height: 2.2 cm, Width: 1.9 cm, Depth: 1.5 cm

Descriptive line

Gold mourning ring enamelled in black and white. Inscribed Jno Brown/ Ob.24.Novr/ 1795/ Aet:66., England, about 1792.


Gold; Enamel

Subjects depicted

Mourning; Death; Vase, Urn


Jewellery; Metalwork; Death; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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