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  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1791 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled gold and woven hair under a rock crystal panel

  • Museum number:


  • 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)


1791 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Enamelled gold and woven hair under a rock crystal panel


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


Jewellery; Death


Metalwork Collection

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