Georgian Era 12kt Rose Gold Mourning Ring with Carved Crystal and Hair
This is a 12kt rose gold carved crystal mourning ring with an incredible history. On the back of this Victorian piece is the following engraving, “Eliza Hope / died at Spithead / 15th Aug. / 1786 / Aged 17 Yrs 6 Mo”. This Scottish family has a long lineage dating back to the early 1500’s. Eliza Hope was the daughter of John the 2nd Earl (1704-1781) who oversaw the completion of the interior of Hopetoun House. Interestingly, the family's ancestral home—the Hopetoun House—is a part of the United Kingdom’s National Trust and is on viewing for the public. To this day, the Earl of Hopetoun and the Marquess of Linlithgow (the head of the family and Lord Hopetoun’s father) still live on the estate. The Hopetoun House is located in South Queensferry, Scotland—a little outside of Edinburgh.
This stunning piece of history is a unique as it contains carved crystal in the shape of an oval as opposed to the standard glass. Underneath the crystal are delicately braided strands of the deceased Eliza’s hair. Hair jewelry became a fashionable mourning practice in the Victorian era. Queen Victoria popularized this trend and other mourning practices in the United Kingdom. Soon, it became custom to collect pieces of a deceased loved one’s hair and incorporate them into jewelry. It was through this sentimental practice that one could live on the in the memory of the wearer.
This piece, although unmarked, has been acid tested as 12kt rose gold. This ring is a size 5 1/2 and due to the nature of the design it should not be resized. This piece can easily be worn as a fashionable pinky ring. This piece weighs approximately 3.90 grams. This piece is in very good condition for its age. The crystal is free from nicks or dents and the rose gold is in excellent condition.
This fabulous Victorian mourning ring is truly a piece of history. The interior band showcases some incredibly beautiful engraving—clearly done at the hands of a master. This piece would be the perfect gift for the history buff in your life. Alternatively, keep it for yourself and marvel at the latest addition to your antique jewelry collection!
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