A beautifully painted miniature in enamel by William Essex (English, 1784-1869). Essex was a miniature portrait painter known for crisp and detailed work in enamel, particularly portraits of animals. His miniatures of dogs are particularly sought after and very scarce, this superb depiction of an English Bulldog is signed "Wm Essex 1962" in the reverse.
The miniature is mounted in a luxurious 18ct yellow gold ring that is engraved inside the band with "S.E.A. Pritt died Nov. 19, 1845" in a Regency Script font. Worn as a mourning/memorial ring the setting is particularly attractive with rope trim framing the portrait and a wide scalloped band adding even more to the statuesque beauty of this piece.
This ring is in very, very good antique condition with light surface wear as expected in a ring almost 200 years old. The enamel painting is still fresh and bright with minimal areas of loss. Please disregard any reflections of light cast on the painting, the enamelling is shiny and difficult to photograph without capturing the reflections.
The pièce de résistance in any antique jewellry collection, this miniature work of art is rare and extremely desirable. Essex portrait miniatures are usually found set into stick pins and brooches, very rarely rings. William Essex was appointed enamel painter to Queen Victoria in 1839 and to Prince Albert in 1841. Works by Essex are housed in the The Royal Collection, one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, and in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. We have more photos on our website at www.mercymadge.com
MATERIALS: 18-22ct gold (acid tests to at least 18ct)
RING SIZE: UK M-1/2, US 6-1/2 (resizing is not recommended because the engraved memorial inside the band will be lost)
MEASUREMENTS: miniature painting is 17mm diameter, ring face 20mm, band 5.5mm
WEIGHT: 5.3 grams
DATE: circa 1845-1862, Victorian
MARKS: signed 'W. Essex 1862'
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Materials: 18ct Gold.