King William III
A high carat gold ring circa 1700 enclosing an enamel portrait of King William III in a channel set mount and under domed crystal. Mary, daughter of James II, was sent away aged 15 to the Netherlands to marry William, Prince of Orange to ensure a Protestant monarchy. When Mary was invited to rule in 1688 she refused to do so without William by her side. They were the first and only couple to rule jointly, although Mary deferred to her husband except when he was abroad fighting. Rings like this form part of a tradition for wearing images of Stuart monarchs, the tradition for which flourished from the execution of Charles I in 1649. Part political allegiance, part mourning jewellery, the ring showed devotion from the wearer to their monarch. Such rings were particularly popular during times of political and religious upheaval, but they could also be worn during periods of national mourning. This depiction of William in military attire is after a portrait by Godfrey Kneller. The ring is size L [US 5 and 1/2]. A finely executed portrait and immaculate.