A portrait miniature ring circa 1800, depicting Queen Charlotte, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz [19 May 1744 – 17 November 1818] wife and consort of George III. The high carat gold fluted shank encloses an enamel portrait of the young monarch in a rose-pink gown with fichu collar, her hair arranged in curls. The portrait is covered by a domed crystal. The ring is inscribed to reverse : Queen Charlotte Stowe 1848. The inscription refers to the ring being sold in the Stowe House sale in 1848. Richard Plantagenet Temple – Nugent – Brydges – Chandos – Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and owner of Stowe House was bankrupt. By 1848 he had debts of £1.5 million. Hence over 40 days during August and September 1848, the ‘great Stowe sale’ took place and the entire contents of the great house were auctioned, from the Old Master paintings to the bed linen. The Times wrote that the Duke ‘has flung all away by extravagance and folly and reduced his honours to the tinsel of a pauper and the bauble of a fool’. This ring was Lot 826 in the Stowe sale, described in the catalogue as : A gold ring, with a miniature of George III and a ditto, with Queen Charlotte. The pair of rings sold for £6 2s and 6d. The ring is size M and 1/2 [US 6 and 1/4] and the head of the ring measures 3/4 of an inch by 2/3 of an inch. A finely executed miniature, a fascinating tale.