Object Record

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Catalog Number 01.C.08
Object Name Ring
Title John Hawkesworth Memorial Ring
Artist Unknown
Date ca. 1773
Description Ring with small white center stone, with engraved initials "M.H.", surrounded by purple gemstones. Engraved on serpentine band: "JOHN HAWKESWORTH L.L.D. OB 17 NOV. 1773 AE: 58." Stored in red ring box with label on underside: "BAILEY & KITCHEN / Jewellers / 136 Chestnut Street / two doors above the U.S.B. / Philada." Label on storage box states "Once in possession of Mrs. Mary Hewson. Presented by Miss Frances M. Bradford 6.29.60"
Label Mary Stevenson Hewson, educated by Benjamin Franklin when he boarded with her family in London during the 1750s and 1760s, owned this mourning ring. The ring was a memorial to English writer and editor John Hawkesworth, a close friend of both Franklin and Hewson. Hawkesworth, along with Franklin, was a member of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, and was most famous for publishing Captain James Cook's account of his Pacific expedition. Mourning rings, common in the 18th century, typically included the name, date of death, and age of the deceased engraved on the band or on the back of the setting for the stone.
Material Gold and gemstones
Dimensions Dia-0.75 inches
Credit line American Philosophical Society. Gift of Miss Frances Bradford, 29 June 1960.
Search Terms 18th century
eighteenth century
mourning
jewelry
commemorative