- Museum number
Finger-ring; gold, the bezel engraved 'Ba', with chased shoulders; back of bezel once contained lock of hair behind glass. Inscription inside hoop.
- Production date
Diameter: 1 centimetres (bezel)
Diameter: 2 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Fannie wrote to Kenyon in December 1913 that she remebered seeing her father-in-law wear this ring on his little finger. For Fannie's letter to Kenyon and further discussion, see J. Rudoe, 'Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Taste for Archaeological-Style Jewelry', in Bulletin of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. vol. 83, Fall 1986, no. 353, pp. 22-32.
'Ba' was Robert's nickname for his wife. He must have had the ring made after her death in 1861 to hold a lock of her hair.
Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl.296a.
The Browning finger-rings were worn by the poets Robert Browning and his wife Elizabeth Barrett Browning and both refer to her - the one worn by Robert being engraved: BA, which was her family pet name, and the other being engraved with her initials 'EBB'. Two other inscribed rings belonged to Robert Browning: the one that he wore on his watch-chain, engraved with the Greek inscription: AEI (meaning 'forever'), which was reputedly made by the firm of Castellani in Rome, and another, also with a Latin inscription: VIS MEA ('my strength'), which belongs to Balliol College, Oxford.
- On display (G47/dc7)
- glass cracked and hair missing
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Given by Robert Browning to his daughter-in-law, Fannie Browning, as part of his wife's jewel case in 1888. Given by Fannie in 1913 to Sir Frederic Kenyon, Director of British Museum from 1909-30 and editor of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's letters. Bequeathed by Kenyon in 1952.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number