In her defining role as the first First Lady, Martha Washington was renowned for her stately simplicity. She may have worn this American-made ring while her husband was president. Pearls set against radiant engine-turned blue enamel reflected the prevailing neoclassical taste of the period. More importantly, the restrained elegance of the ring bespoke a republican virtue that distinguished her character from the perceived ostentation of European royalty.

Description

Finger ring with wide, tapering gold band and circular bezel. Single pearl set on a blue enamel center with engine turned ground surrounded by a thin border of white enamel in gold bands and an outer border of sixteen pearls set in gold.

Date

c. 1790


Geography


Material/Technique

Gold, pearls, enamel Martha G. Fales also conjectured that silver was used in setting the central pearl when she examined the ring in November, 1985. See Curatorial File.


Dimensions

Overall: 7/8 in. x 3/4 in. x 5/8 in. (2.24 cm x 1.91 cm x 1.6 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of the Detroit Mount Vernon Society, 1915


Object Number

W-462


Colors (Beta)


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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