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Ref SK8 Memento Mori Skeletal Ring
Plump, substantial, fine quality high carat gold memento mori hoop, dated 1725. This type of mourning ring is known as a skeletal, as a full skeleton on a ground of black enamel encircles the outer hoop, along with other emblems of mortality - an hourglass, a gravedigger's pick and shovel and crossed bones. Such ornamentation echoes that used on the title pages of funeral sermons during the 18th century.
The ring is inscribed to interior :
M Metcalfe obt. 26 May 1725 aet 61
and it has a maker's mark. The ring is size O [US 7] and the hoop is just over 1/8 of an inch wide. It is in amazingly pristine condition with original enamel intact. For parallel examples see Plate 288 in Scarisbrick's
and the British Museum, Ashmolean Museum and V & A Museum ring collections.
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