The Countess of Dysart
A mourning ring of exceptional quality, commemorating the life Anna Maria Tollemache, Countess of Dysart [1745 – 1804]. In 1773 Anna Maria married Wilbraham Tollemache, the future 6th Earl of Dysart. The couple were patrons of the arts, patrons of Reynolds and Gainsborough and the Countess, a renowned beauty, sat for portraits by leading artists of the day. The Earl died without issue so the vast family fortune and extensive estates passed to his nephew and sister. The shank of the ring is inscribed in gold lettering reserved on a black enamel ground with the details of the deceased : To The MY of AM Countess of Dysart 14 Sept 1804. The shank supports a compartment set with weave of the Countess’s hair surmounted by a diamond urn under a domed crystal. The ring is size N and 1/2 [US 6 and 3/4] and the head of the ring measures 3/4 of an inch by 3/4 of an inch. A superlative example of a Georgian mourning ring.
‘ Mrs Tollemache as Miranda’ by Sir Joshua Reynolds Sepulchral monument to Anna Maria in St. Mary’s Church, Helmingham