The Martyr King
From a private collection, a rare Royalist supporter’s ring commemorating the death of King Charles Ist in 1649. The high carat gold ring contains an enamel portrait of the monarch with mournful demeanour, with falling lace collar and wearing the Order of the Garter. It is under a domed crystal. In life the King’s steadfast belief in the Divine Right of Kings and unswerving faith in his own authority lead to conflict within his kingdom. Yet this same sense of divinity would support him to make a dignified death shrouded in the symbolism of martyrdom. His followers who regarded his execution as a crime expressed their sorrow by wearing jewels such as this in his memory both at the time of his death and after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. The ring is size N [US 6 and 1/2] and the head of the ring measures 1/2 an inch by 1/2 an inch. Such rings rarely come onto the market today.
Portrait of Charles 1st as a martyr, his earthly crown being lost for the celestial. In his final speech on the execution scaffold Charles declared, “I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown, where no disturbance can be.” Museum of London.