Mourning jewellery is often handed down through the generations and the story of who it commemorates can be lost along the years. There are some however which are finely detailed to ensure that the memory of a loved one never fades. Lot 316 in The Jewellery Auction on December 18 is a mourning ring which holds a sad tale not only for the original wearer but for the nation.
The battle of the Somme was one of the most tragic that took place in WWI and was fought between 1 July and 18 November 1916. Over 100 years later, we are reminded that out of the three million honourable men that fought in the battle, over one million of them were killed or wounded. By the end of the first day, there were 57,470 casualties for Britain alone and this enamelled mourning ring serves as a touching reminder to honour just one of them.
The black enamelled ring with hinged shoulders would have originally opened to reveal space for hairwork underneath, is engraved ‘D.McL, Wounded & Missing, Somme, 1/7/16.’ This ring is a poignant tribute to a local soldier from Govanhill, Donald J McLagan, who went to war leaving his pregnant wife at home and didn’t return home. The current vendor, the soldier’s grandson, was unaware of the history of the ring until bringing it to McTear’s.
Estimated at only £50–£80, you could own a piece of history and ensure that the story of a local hero is told for generations to come.
McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.