Lady Elizabeth Montagu
A most unusual mourning ring, circa 1710 – 1720, commemorating the life of Lady Elizabeth Montagu, the only daughter of Edward Montagu, 2nd Earl of Sandwich. She was born in 1668/1669. Her date of death appears to be unknown. The obverse of the ring contains a watercolour portrait of Elizabeth after a portrait by Godfrey Kneller. The miniature artist has copied Kneller’s delicate and intimate approach to his female faces, with emphasis on sharp features and alluring eyes. Her skin is alabaster white with rouged cheeks and lips, she observes the viewer with a direct gaze. The obverse contains a hair compartment with a skull and crossbones device between gold wire initials EM, under crystal. The ring is size J [US 4 and 5/8] and the head of the ring measures 1/2 an inch by 1/3 of an inch. I have never seen a mourning ring with such a reverse.