circa 1780

Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

Not much is known about this ring. There are no inscriptions that tell us who the hair belonged to or when he or she died. The hair inside is woven in a soft braid and dyed an unnatural shade of green. There is a reference to green hair dye in Johann Jacob Wecker’s Eighteen Books of the Secrets of Art and Nature in 1661, but it is unclear what the purpose of this would be or how often green hair was sought after. Another interesting mystery is the use of rubellite tourmaline gems. Garnets were often used in mourning jewelry to symbolize blood, but tourmaline was not as common.

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  • Title: Ring
  • Date Created: circa 1780
  • Location: United States
  • Physical Dimensions: 1 1/8 x 1 x 1 1/4 in. (2.9 x 2.5 x 3.2 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fleischmann
  • Accession Number: 2008.218
  • Medium: gold, hair, tourmaline, glass