A unusual example of a decade and heart of Christ ring, circa 1800.The decade ring takes its name from the fact that it has ten knobs. The rings were used in the same way as a rosary. A ‘Hail Mary’ (Ave Maria) prayer was said for each of the knobs, and then an ‘Our Father’ (Paternoster) for the bezel (the centre of the ring). The centre of this high carat gold ring is set with a cross and an enamel heart bleeding golden tears. Such rings were used mainly in the 17th and 18th centuries (particularly during the periods of Catholic persecution, being easier to conceal than a rosary). The ring is size P [US 7.5] and immaculate.