1810 Georgian Doubled-Sided Swivel Mourning Ring

A rare Georgian memorial ring from Jane Austen’s Regency England, crafted in 12k rose gold with a clever swivel mechanism that allows the double-sided ring face to be flipped according to the wearer’s wishes. One side is set with glitering jets and a foiled purple paste. The other features an inscription inlaid against a ground of black and white enamel. The inscription reads as follows:

OB 1 Nov
Æ: 42

While modern impulses encourage mourners to “move on” following the passing of a loved one, Europeans prior to 1900s treated death as an undeniable reality to be accepted and remembered. Memorial rings were commonly commissioned after a death to be distributed to friends and family, a practice adopted by the middle-upper classes that could afford such jewelry. Memorial rings with a movable flip ring face required more attention and work for the jeweler, and are among the more unusual and rare examples of early mourning rings.

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