A weighty and superior example of a skeletal ring dated 1710. 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 and a winged hourglass symbolising tempus fugit or time flies. The ring is inscribed to interior : JS obt. 31 July 1710 Aet 27, with a maker’s mark. The ring is size P [US 7 and 1/2] and the hoop is 1/4 of an inch wide. In extremely fine and completely 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.