Return to Tradition of Mourning Jewelry
This ring commemorates the death of the Rev. Edward Wigglesworth, Harvard Class of 1749, who succeeded his father as the second Hollis Chair of Divinity at Harvard in 1765. The dedication around the band of three joined scrolls reads, “E:WIGGLESWORTH OB:17.JUNE. 1794.Æ:63.”
Although this ring was made in 1794, when the neoclassical era was in full swing, it has all the elements of the rococo style, which had peaked some 30 years earlier. These include the sectioned scrolling band, the rayed bezel underneath, and the memento mori skeleton painted on paper and lying in a faceted crystal coffin.