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from the archive
Victorian St Peter at the Gate Mourning Ring

Written at the same time this striking mourning ring was made, this quote from Godey’s Lady's Book beautifully describes the Victorian sentiment when it came to hair jewelry: “Hair is at once the most delicate and lasting of our materials and survives us like love. It is so light, so gentle, so escaping from the idea of death, that, with a lock of hair belonging to a child or friend, we may almost look to heaven and compare notes with angelic nature, may almost say: 'I have a piece of thee here, not unworthy of thy being now.'” With its large oval head and crisp rock crystal face encasing woven hair, this ring is arresting in its simplicity. Turn it over to discover what elevates it to the realm of the spectacular: an engraving of St Peter holding the keys to the gates of heaven.


  • Materials

    18k yellow gold, rock crystal, hair

  • Age

    c. 1860

  • Condition

    Very good - spt of solder from a previous repair on the underside of the head, mark on the shank from a previous resizing

  • Size

    8.25, can be resized; head measures 2 x 1.4cm, 2.1mm shank

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