Otages du Roi Martyr
A rare and exceptional French Royalist ring, circa 1814. When King Louis XVI and his family were imprisoned in the Tuileries Palace in 1789, volunteers from the artistocracy and clergy registered their names on a hostage list, offering their lives and freedom in exchange for those of the king and his family. When Louis XVIII ascended the throne in 1814, he sent these gold rings to each of the surviving hostage volunteers as a token of gratitude. The high carat gold ring has a central locket compartment containing a watercolour miniature of Louis XVI. Its cover bears the inscription : Une Foi, Une Loi, Un Roi [a faith, a law, a king] and Otages du Roi Martyr [Hostages of the martyr king]. The ornately decorated hoop is set with two urns inscribed LD and ME [for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, as well as the initals of the hostage volunteer], surmounted by crowns, and a heart inscribed XVI. The ring is size Z and 1/2 [US 12 and 3/4] and presumably would have been worn over a glove or on a chain. A fascinating piece of history.
Louis XVI and his family imprisoned