Antique 1820s 18K Georgian mourning ring with pearls
A pristine and likely never-worn late Georgian memorial ring for a young father who died in 1823 at the age of 29. John William Thomas Sparks, Esq. was born in 1795 in London to a merchant class family. I was able to locate many records associated with him, including Freedom of the City Admission Papers for London. A description of this database reads, "Historically, Freedom papers go back to royal charters granted for the privilege to market, trade, or conduct business." In these papers, we find John's father's name as well as the assurance that he is a legitimate child. His baptism record at St. Botolph's, Aldersgate, and his marriage records in the summer of 1818 at St James, Piccadilly, Westminster follow in the record, as do the births of his four children. His untimely death is recorded with a note on a family tree that I located that reads, "Took his own life after losing money." John's ring is made of 18K yellow gold with a classic pearl-trimmed hair compartment and chased, forked shoulders. The verso is deftly engraved with "Jn. W. T. Sparks, Esp. Ob. 28 Oct. 1823 Aet. 29." RIP, John.
Note: John left four small children behind when he died and they must have suffered profoundly. In memory of them, I am donating the profits from the sale of this ring to Ele's Place in my community. "Ele’s Place is a non-profit, community based organization dedicated to creating awareness of and support for grieving children, teens and their families. We offer peer-to-peer support groups for children ages 3-18 years old along with a young adult group for 18-25 year olds, all at no cost to families."
Measurements: Size 5 3/4 US, 3.3 grams. We prefer not to alter this ring in any way.
Era: Georgian, 1820s (1823)
Markings: Dedication on verso as well as a goldsmith mark and hallmarks for London, 18K gold and the year 1823
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