Georgian Mourning Ring 18 ct. Gold, Antique Enamel Memorial Band Ring, Antique Memorial Ring, Hicks-Beach
Every time we see one of these stunning Georgian mourning rings in superb condition we snap them up. Especially those that have special details.
There are three special things to note about this ring (the condition, the goldwork, and an interesting history). It doesn't happen very often, but this ring is in very good antique condition. Sometimes a mourning ring might have been put away in a drawer and never worn, or worn only for special occasions. The goldsmithing is beautiful, evident in the delicate reeding on the gold bands in between the bands of black enamel.
Lastly, this beautiful example of a George IV mourning ring has a fun bit of history as the ring belonged to a family in Jane Austen's circle (see below for details). The outside reads: M Hicks Beach ARM OB 5, JAN 1830 AE 69.
Mourning rings are truly sentimental pieces. Rings were provided via one's estate. Each ring was to be given to those close to the departed, so that they might be able to have a token to keep their loved one close to them always.
Dimensions & Details: Mourning Ring
- The ring is black enamel over 18 ct. gold.
- The ring is a U.S. size (leading edge) 5 and a UK size J 1/2. With wide band rings consider sizing up 1/4 size from the leading edge.
- Due to the pattern and enamel, this ring cannot be sized. If you have any questions on size, please contact us for assistance.
Period & Hallmarks
- Georgian (George IV).
- Hallmarked for London, 1829, 18 ct.
- Duty mark for King George IV.
- Maker's mark: WE.
- Additionally, acid tested 18 ct. gold.
- The ring is in very good, near mint condition, very light scratching not eye visible (only through magnification). It is very hard to find these rings without damage to the enamel.
About Michael Hicks-Beach (Part of Jane Austen's England)
Michael Hicks-Beach (1760–1830), was part of Jane Austen's England. He was a member of Parliament for the constituency of Cirencester for the parliaments of 1794 to 1818 and the son of Sir Howe Hicks, 6th Baronet and the brother of Sir William Hicks 7th Baronet. Upon the death of his father-in-law it was requested that he, his wife (the heiress Henrietta Maria Beach), and their children all take the surname Hicks Beach.
The story of Michael and Henrietta was a romantic one. He and Henrietta were known within Jane Austen's circle. According to the article "Syndey Smith, Jane Austen and Henry Tilney" by Chris Viveash, Jane Austen was familiar with the romantic story of Henrietta and Michael. "The elder of the two brothers, the prospective bridegroom, was an Oxford graduate and heir to a baronetcy; the younger brother was a vigorous, handsome charmer, about to enter Oxford. As is the way with these things, the heiress promptly fell in love with the penniless younger brother (Michael Hicks)." When tragedy befell the couple, Jane Austen wrote "her sister Cassandra 'I am sorry for the Beaches' loss of their little girl, especially as it is the one so like me' (9 January 1796)."
According to the author: "Michael Hicks described himself in his courting letters to Henrietta Maria, as 'your Constant, Sincere and Affectionate Lover,' and so he remained for the rest of his life."
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