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Mourning ring

England

Dated 1810

Gold mourning ring, the oval bezel with white enamel border around gold lettering REMEMBER ME, the black enamel bearing the letter A surmounted by the Princess's crown, the hoop in white enamel inscribed in gold lettering Pss AMELIA, died 2nd Nov 1810, aged 27

17.25 mm internal ring diameter; 4.6 g weight

On loan from Evelyn Lee and Margaret Woodcock; LI1045.14

Princess Amelia was the youngest daughter of King George III (r.1760-1820) and was reputed to be his favourite. She died after two years of poor health.

Mourning ring: The distribution of mourning rings to the friends and loved ones of the deceased dates back to the fourteenth century. By the seventeenth century, the tradition of bequeathing actual rings once owned by the departed was superseded by the allocation of money in a will for the purchase of new ones for a given list of recipients. The rings were inscribed with the name, date of death and age of the deceased and took on various forms depending on the fashion of the age. Their distribution finally dwindled in the nineteenth century following the invention of the photograph as an alternative keepsake.