WMID-A20C57: WMID-A20C57: Post Medieval: Mourning finger ring

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
CC License:

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WMID-A20C57

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A complete cast gold mourning ring, of 18th Century dating.

The finger ring is circular in plan, and D shaped in cross section. The exterior has been decorated with an elaborate floral design involving thistles and a sunflower. A skull is present as part of the design. Traces of black enamel are present within the recesses of the design. The interior bears the following inscription: 'Prepare to Follow Da: R B'. A makers mark is present, bearing the letters ?MR in a square cartouche.

The ring has an external diameter of 22.12 mm and an internal diameter of 18.42 mm. The hoop measures 4.65 mm wide and is 1.96 mm thick. It weighs 6.5 grams.

Comment from Judy Rudoe (Medieval Curator, British Museum): See AF.1607 for IR mark. Or MR conjoined, see 1961,1202.103. But neither is right. The maker's mark looks very like NR which we do not have and is not in Grimwade, nor can I find anything like this in Grimwade. At least one of our mourning rings of this type, AF.1547, with same skull and foliate exterior, is dated 1732. See also AF.1364, a plain ring with similar inscription - with 1765-77 maker's mark.

So we can say that a) this type of ring goes on at least into 1730s, and b) the inscription, although occurring on Charles I memorial rings, also goes on into late 18th century, so in absence of identifiable maker's mark, it cannot be confirmed to be older than 300 years, and is therefore not classified as Treasure under the requirements of the 1996 Treasure Act.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: mourning
Inscription: Prepare to Follow Da:

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder after being declared not Treasure


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1730
Date to: Circa AD 1800

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Width: 4.65 mm
Thickness: 1.96 mm
Weight: 6.5 g
Diameter: 22.12 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 4th November 2012

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Identified by: Miss Teresa Gilmore
Secondary identifier: Ms Judy Rudoe

Other reference numbers

Other reference: 50 finds from Staffordshire

Materials and construction

Primary material: Gold
Secondary material: Enamel
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Floral
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Inlaid with enamel

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: Lichfield (District)
To be known as: Lichfield

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Found whilst metal detecting

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WMID
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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