- Museum number
Finger-ring; gold; hoop a wire; oval locket bezel containing laureate head of Napoleon in relief in gold; hinged lid is enamelled on outer side with three flowers on stems within a wreath.
- Production date
Diameter: 0.76 inches
Length: 0.35 inches (bezel)
Weight: 13 grains
- Curator's comments
- Text from Dalton 1912, Catalogue of Finger Rings:
'Stated to have been given by a French officer, who died in 1830, to Mr. John Boyle of the firm of Wedgwood and Bentley of Etruria. Bought from his son Henry Boyle. The tradition was that the ring was one of six made for the conspirators concerned in the escape of the Emperor Napoleon from the Isle of Elba. In the illustration the ring is enlarged on account of the minuteness of the design'
Newspaper cutting pasted into Dalton, .................. Napoleon favoured the violet, and when he went to Elba he promised his friends that he would return in the violet season. Accordingly they wore gold rings bearing a violet in enamel and the legend "Elle reparaitra au printemps". Yet the violet has been unlucky to the Bonapartes..
Text from Ward, Cherry et al, 'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century,' London 1981, pl.276.
This ring is said to have been one of those given by Napoleon I to the French officers who assisted him to escape from his voluntary exile on the Island of Elba. John Boyle was given it by one of these officers who died in 1830. As with the Stuart commemorative rings (Pl. 231) the image - a tiny medallic portrait-head of Napoleon - had to be concealed when the new regime usurped the old. The portrait is covered by a hinged lid, enamelled on the surface with three flowers within a wreath. These tiny medallic portraits were popular for commemorative jewellery, particularly rings, in the early nineteenth century. Similar rings, without the concealing lid, celebrate Wellington's victories in the Iberian peninsular and the marriage of Queen Victoria..
- On display (G47/dc5/p1/no20)
- Associated events
- Commemoration of: Napoleon's escape from Elba
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Said to have been given to John Boyle by French officer who died in 1830; purchased from Henry Boyle.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number