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

Ring

1819-1820 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The inscriptions and ornament on this ring commemorate the life and death of King George III. The hoop is inscribed with the motto of the order of the Garter, on a royal blue background. It should perhaps be considered as part of a small and as yet, not fully understood group of rings in the form of Garters. The earliest ring of this type known dates from 1626 and commemorates the death of Lancelot Andrewes, the Bishop of Winchester and Prelate of the Order of the Garter but other examples date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III in 1348 and is the oldest order of chivalry in Europe. The insignia of the Order have developed over the centuries: starting with a garter and badge depicting St George and the Dragon. A collar was added in the sixteenth century, and the star and broad riband in the seventeenth century. However, rings were not included in the formal insignia.

This ring is inscribed with the key dates in George III's life and may have been made for a friend or family member or perhaps as a form of public mourning. Rings have been bequeathed in wills since the 14th century as a remembrance of the testator but from the 17th century, they became increasingly personalised, including the name and dates of birth and death of the person commemorated.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Enamelled gold with chased and inscribed decoration
Brief Description
Enamelled gold commemorative ring, the squared oval bezel with the royal crown enamelled in red and white. The hoop with a chased floral border. The central band inscribed in gold letter reserved on blue HONI. SOIT. QUI. MAL. Y. PENSE. and inscribed inside GEO: 3rd born 4 June 1738/ Acceeded 25 Oct 1760/ Married 8 Sep 1760/ Crowned 22/ died 20 Jan 1820 Aged 81., Maker's mark SW, possibly Stephen Warwick. England, London hallmarks for 1819-20.
Physical Description
Enamelled gold commemorative ring, the squared oval bezel with the royal crown enamelled in red and white. The hoop with a chased floral border. The central band inscribed in gold letter reserved on blue HONI. SOIT. QUI. MAL. Y. PENSE. and inscribed inside GEO: 3rd born 4 June 1738/ Acceeded 25 Oct 1760/ Married 8 Sep 1760/ Crowned 22/ died 20 Jan 1820 Aged 81.. Maker's mark SW and London Hallmarks for 1819-20.
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.4cm
  • Width: 2.3cm
  • Depth: 1cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • HONI. SOIT. QUI. MAL. Y. PENSE. (Inscription on the central band; the motto of the Order of the Garter.)
  • GEO: 3rd born 4 June 1738/ Acceeded 25 Oct 1760/ Married 8 Sep 1760/ Crowned 22/ died 20 Jan 1820 Aged 81. (inscription on inside)
  • initialled SW (Maker's mark)
  • Hallmarks (London Hallmarks for 1819-20)
Credit line
Given by Dame Joan Evans
Object history
ex Sir John Evans Collection



Historical significance: Achievements of King George III.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The inscriptions and ornament on this ring commemorate the life and death of King George III. The hoop is inscribed with the motto of the order of the Garter, on a royal blue background. It should perhaps be considered as part of a small and as yet, not fully understood group of rings in the form of Garters. The earliest ring of this type known dates from 1626 and commemorates the death of Lancelot Andrewes, the Bishop of Winchester and Prelate of the Order of the Garter but other examples date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.



The Order of the Garter was founded by Edward III in 1348 and is the oldest order of chivalry in Europe. The insignia of the Order have developed over the centuries: starting with a garter and badge depicting St George and the Dragon. A collar was added in the sixteenth century, and the star and broad riband in the seventeenth century. However, rings were not included in the formal insignia.



This ring is inscribed with the key dates in George III's life and may have been made for a friend or family member or perhaps as a form of public mourning. Rings have been bequeathed in wills since the 14th century as a remembrance of the testator but from the 17th century, they became increasingly personalised, including the name and dates of birth and death of the person commemorated.
Collection
Accession Number
M.150-1962

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record createdJuly 11, 2006
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