Inscribed Behold the Ende, this gold ring is formed to the centre with an irregular quatrefoil bezel featuring a white and black enamelled skull. Intricately carved skulls appear on either side along with black enamelled flower motifs.
This 17th century English ring is a typical example of memento mori jewellery, which was popular at that time.
Wearers would be reminded of their mortality and by extension to prepare for the afterlife. The example in question is similar to one in Diana Scarisbrick’s 2003 publication Finger rings and another in the V&A collection.
The ring is available for £33,000 from Berganza, which is in London’s historic Hatton Garden jewellery district. It offers jewellery dating back to ancient Roman pieces and is a member of associations including CINOA and LAPADA.