Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Finger Ring with a Portrait of Grand Duke Adolphus, 1746

Finger Ring with Miniature of
Adolphus Frederick IV
Presented to Queen Charlotte, 1746
The Royal Collection

Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Sterlitz, Adolphus Frederick IV was the brother of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III. Adolphus was most beloved and Charlotte often showered her brother with expensive gifts.

In 1746, he returned the favor by presenting Queen Charlotte with this diamond finger ring set with a watercolor on ivory portrait of himself by an unknown German artist. Though he looks quite foppish to modern eyes in his elaborate wig, Adolphus was quite the height of fashion. The Queen loved the ring and wore it frequently. A similar portrait was also set into a matching snuff box.

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