I cherish even his shadow
A silhouette portrait on a verre églomisé golden ground, set to a ring, circa 1780. Silhouettes were also known as shades. The tapered high carat gold shank supports a compartment containing a portrait of a young man with beribboned hair wearing a lace fichu under domed crystal. Verre églomisé is a term referring to the process of applying both a design and gilding onto the rear face of glass. The name is derived from the 18th century French decorator and art dealer, Jean-Baptiste Glomy. The technique created shimmering and beautifully reflective pieces of artwork. Love and mourning rings shared the same language in the late 18th century. Within its black surround this is a mourning ring, the inference being ‘I cherish even his shadow’. The ring is size M and 1/2 [US 6 and 1/4] and the head of the ring measures one inch by 3/4 of an inch. There are similar examples of silhouette mourning rings in the V and A ring collection.