Skeletal

Skeletal

A full skeletal ring dated 1734. From the 16th century devices such as hourglasses, skulls, crossbones and skeletons appeared on items of jewellery, reminding the wearer of the brevity of mortal life and the necessity of preparing for life in the world to come. This high carat gold ring is encircled on the outer hoop by a full enamel skeleton, gravedigger’s tools, a winged hourglass symbolising tempus fugit or time flies and a tablet bearing the words : memento mori. The ring is inscribed to interior : Mary Sikes obt. 19 Oct 1734 Aet 68, with a maker’s mark. Mary Ashe married John Sikes in 1687. She is interred in the Sikes’ family vault in Hackney Cemetery.

The ring is size I [US 4 and 1/4] and the hoop is 1/8 of an inch wide. A solid, weighty example of this type of ring in fine, original condition. For parallel examples see Plate 288 in Scarisbrick’s Historic Rings and the British Museum, Ashmolean Museum and V & A Museum ring collections.

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