Stuart Crystals

Stuart Crystal.jpg

A c.17th Century Mourning Ring with a Gold Cipher Capped by Rock Crystal with Traces of Black Enamel.
© The Trustees of the British Museum.

Stuart crystals were flat topped carved rock crystal quartz capping a gold wire cipher and/or crown on a hairwork background. These were mounted as rings, cufflinks, pendants, earrings and slides. Usually mounted in gold, some have black or white tracery enamel. These rings were produced in support of the monarchy after the execution of King Charles I in 1649 and are a precursor of the memorial or mourning ring.

Charles I.jpg

Memorial pendent portrait of King Charles I, wearing the blue moiré sash of the Order of the Garter.
Image Courtesy of Christie's.