Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Ring Containing the Hair of King George III, 1816

Enamel, Gold, Diamond, Rubies
Containing the Hair of King George III
1816, English
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This ring of enameled gold contains bezel-set rubies and a brilliant-cut diamond in the shape of a crown. The band is dated, 1816. Behind the crown, a locket is cleverly hidden upon which has been inscribed, “Hair cut from the head of George III, 1 Apr., 1816.”

Items of jewelry, especially during the Nineteenth Century, frequently held lockets of hair—often behind rock crystal or glass as a memento of a loved one or in memory of a person who has passed away. To have a lock of a Regent’s hair was quite extraordinary. It’s unknown who made the ring and for whom it was made. However, the fact that it has remained intact with its original contents is nothing short of miraculous.

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