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 Museum Explorer

Dress and ornament
in Europe

Ring with an eye

Diameter: 2.000 cm
Weight: 58.000 g

M&ME Dalton ring cat. 1663

Ring with a painted eye

From: England
Date: after AD 1794

To help them remember a friend or relative who had died, some people would have a gold ring like this one made. On this ring would be a picture of the eye of the person to be remembered. The eye was usually cut out from a portrait and stuck onto the ring.

This particular ring was made to remember Mary Dean who died on the 27th of August 1794, aged 73. The eye must have been cut from a portrait of Mary painted when she was much younger - you can't see any wrinkles around it.