1505477.jpg (432×481)

Beginning in the 14th Century, mourning rings were a common way to memorialize the dead. They were often paid for by the deceased, and bequeathed in wills.

They came in many forms. The molded one above is a handclasp of farewell. Many used woven hair.

The rings usually included the details of the deceased, engraved on the inside or outside of the band.

Littleton mourning ring found in Bridgnorth, Shropshire. © Birmingham City Council

Unless the loved one was a child, or perhaps unmarried, the choice of stone was something black.

Though the original tradition died out at the end of the 19th Century, it was revived briefly in the 30s & 40s, in the form of Bakelite portrait rings.

If you want one, it’ll cost ya, but they sure are lovely.

flint-cottage-and-polesden-safe-148