Memento mori skull ring
A memento mori skull hoop dated 1760. The high carat gold scrolled shank displays the details of the deceased on a black enamel ground : Henry Ray Gent ob. 7 Sep. 1760 AET 75. The central compartment contains a skull device under faceted rock crystal. The gold reverse of the ring is rayed. The ring is size O [US 7]. Tiny bit of enamel restoration.
Henry Ray was a clothier or cloth merchant from Bocking, Essex. Bocking was a centre for worsted fabric manufacture which created vast fortunes for its many clothiers. Henry Ray is referred to as a ‘gent’ on this ring as his acquisition of property and wealth meant he acquired the status of gentleman and did not need to work with his own hands. His will attests to the property and fortune he amassed and left his family.