Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Mourning ring

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1661 (dated)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled gold with hair ornament

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dame Joan Evans

  • Museum number:

    M.156-1962

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 81, shelf D1, box 19

This enamelled gold mourning ring commemorates the death of Samuel Nicholets of Hertfordshire who died on 7th July 1661, as is recorded in the inscription inside the ring. The ring is hollow, and a lock of hair curls around within it, visible through the openwork of the enamelled decoration of skulls and coats of arms.

Physical description

Enamelled gold mourning ring, with openwork ornament underlaid with hair. The outside of the hoop enamelled in black and white with skulls and two coats of arms, one for Nicholets, of Herefordshire. Inscribed inside Samuell Nicholets obijt [died] 17 July (1661) Christ is my portion.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1661 (dated)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Enamelled gold with hair ornament

Marks and inscriptions

Samuell Nicholets obijt 17 July (1661) Christ is my portion
'Samuel Nicholets died 17 July 1661'
inscription inside the hoop

Dimensions

Depth: 0.6 cm, Diameter: 2.2 cm

Object history note

Part of a small group of openwork hoops with hair including a memento mori ring for Henry Hammond, dean of Christchurch and chaplain to Charles I (died 1655) which was sold at Christies South Kensington in November 2009 for £2875.

Descriptive line

Enamelled gold mourning ring, with openwork ornament underlaid with hair and skulls and two coats of arms, one for the Nicholets family of Herefordshire, made in England, 1661

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Hindman, Sandra ed. Cycles of life: rings from the Benjamin Zucker family collection, London, 2014, p. 193
Church, Rachel, Rings, London, V&A Publishing, 2011, p.46, fig.53

Materials

Gold; Enamel; Hair

Techniques

Enamelling

Subjects depicted

Death; Mourning; Escutcheons (coats of arms); Skull (skeleton component)

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Death; Accessories; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.