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Memorial Ring
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Memorial Ring

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This ring commemorates two siblings who are named in the gold inscriptions on white enamel. The color of the enamel, associated with purity, indicates that they were unmarried. The ring is comprised of two halves that mirror each other and are held together by small pins and sockets. The bezel is divided by two separate triangular compartments with pearl borders, each containing a lock of one sibling's hair. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it became customary in England to commemorate loved ones with memorial rings, which were distributed at the funeral. From around 1770, they often contained miniature portraits or held locks of the deceased's hair in small compartments accompanied by inscriptions identifying the person to be remembered.
  • Jewelry - Ancient to Modern. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1979-1980.
  • Objects of Adornment: Five Thousand Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio; Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans; Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. 1984-1987.
  • Jewelry from the Walters Art Gallery and the Zucker Family Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1987.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry from the Walters Art Museum. Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville; The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2009.
  • Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry. El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso. 2010.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transcription] Inscribed on the shoulders of the ring: C.M. BURNLEY. DIED. 3 MAR. 1804. AGED 19. and A.E. BURNLEY. DIED. 8 JULY 1803. AGED 20.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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ca. 1804-1805
gold, enamel, pearls, hair
Accession Number
7/8 x 13/16 in. (2.2 x 2 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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