Antique Georgian painted sepia miniature mourning ring with bridge and windmill

A beautiful and unusual Georgian-Era sepia miniature ring with a peaceful scene of bustling daily life riverside, including a dutch windmill, people crossing a stone arch bridge (one one horseback), and a person in a boat in the river below. The imagery here, coupled with the style of the ring, leads me to believe that this piece was made in the Netherlands or possibly England. This was most likely a mourning ring commissioned for a beloved family member, perhaps out of fondness for this particular part of a real town OR for the symbolism of crossing/passage into the afterlife.

The oval portrait is held under crystal and comes to life with skillful shading across the scene. Although it is difficult to see, there are tiny pieces of human hair incorporated into the portrait. The miniaturist either carefully affixed the hair or mixed it with the paint, effectively enshrining the deceased in the portrait. Wearing this ring is quite literally like having a tiny museum painting on your hand . . . and MORE. This style of mourning jewelry was popular in the late 1700s and early 1800s, when more allegorical symbols of life, loss, and grief (and less literal ones) were used in mourning jewelry. I believe that this ring originally had an enamel shank with the name and details of the deceased around it. The current shank is an early 20th century replacement.

The miniature is preserved neatly beneath crystal in a wafer thin face. There is some evidence of water damage (this piece should not come into contact with water) but the real experience of this piece is unmarred by the passage of time. An exquisite piece.

Measurements: Size 7 1/2 US, approx. 17 x 15 mm face
Era: Late 1700s, Georgian
Markings: 9CT on the restored shank

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