Armillary Sphere Ring
From a private collection, a rare gold ring, circa 1780, of three interlocking hinged hoops which unfold into a miniature armillary sphere, with a crystal covered bezel containing a lock of hair. When closed it looks like any other ring, but as the different hoops are fanned out, the ring takes on a unique quality. This sphere ring also has a mourning element with its hair compartment. Armillary spheres were supposed to represent the heavens and were employed to represent contemplation of heaven in saints’ portraits and emblems. The ring is size N [US 6 and 1/2]. For other examples of armillary sphere rings, see Plate 96A in Oman’s British Rings and Plate 193 in Scarisbrick’s Historic Rings.