An 1818 Ring That Will Keep Thy Dear Remains

November 4, 2011

A piece with perfect enamel work is a rare treat to find. Too often, jewellery dealers and quick to repair enamel and clean gold work to a point where it is obvious.

Black enamel mourning ring 19th century 1830s

Even more obvious are repairs to enamel, as anything short of stripping a piece and beginning again will not be perfect and due to the cold process of amending a piece, it will never be perfect. A piece is better if the enamel is in its original condition and untouched.

Black enamel mourning ring 19th century 1830s

It is rare to see a piece that is as close to perfect as the day it was made – a piece as timeless as the literal tombstone used to commemorate the person. This is just one of those pieces – stunning enamel work, a sentiment that is perfect and an overall construction that resonates a special keepsake for the person it was dedicated to.

Note the band is without wear, the remarkable urn on the front and underneath the urn is the hair, or as band would say, the ‘Dear Remains’. This piece works in unison with itself; even the acanthus and floral Rococo Revival influence in the over-arching Gothic Revival style of the gold work that was so common during the 1810s-30s is here in its perfection. Use this piece as the cornerstone of other pieces for its time and reference it while looking through others in Art of Mourning.

Courtesy: Sarah Nehama
Year: 1818
Dedication: (inner) Wm. Armstrong Ob. 31st March 1818 at 55 (outer): Sacred Will I Keep Thy Dear Remains

Further Reading:
> Gothic Revival in Culture and Jewellery: Part 1, c.1740-c.1850
> Gothic Revival in Culture and Jewellery: Part 2, c.1850-c.190
> Gothic Revival in Culture and Jewellery: Part 3, Breaking Perceptions
> Rose and Yellow Gold ‘Cigar Band’ Ring / 1810
> When Mourning Tokens Are Personal: Mourning Bracelet
> Discovering New Styles In An Important Ring from 1836
> Bold, Simple, Clean – Design on a Mid Victorian Brooch

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