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Ring

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1791 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled gold and woven hair under a rock crystal panel

  • Museum number:

    907-1888

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The inscription around the enamelled edge of this mourning ring tells us that it was made to commemorate Gabriel Wirgman, who died on 12 September 1791 aged 53. A panel of his woven hair has been set within it, decorated by a funerary urn on a pillar.

The London jeweller Gabriel Wirgman left clear instructions in his will for a mourning ring to be made to commemorate both him and a family friend Thomas Garle, a sugar merchant who had died some years earlier. He recorded that there was a lock of Garle’s hair ‘mixed in a plait to be found in the bottom draw of my Chest’ . The ring was to be presented to Jonathan Garle, Thomas Garle’s son ‘a great friend in my lifetime’.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

1791 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Enamelled gold and woven hair under a rock crystal panel

Dimensions

Height: 3 cm bezel, Height: 2.2 cm, Width: 2.1 cm, Depth: 3.1 cm

Descriptive line

Mourning ring, enamelled gold and woven hair under a rock crystal panel for Gabriel Wirgman, London, 1791.

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

Church, Rachel; Rings; Thames and Hudson/ V&A 2017, p. 72, cat. 84

Subjects depicted

Mourning; Death; Urn

Categories

Jewellery; Death

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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