Lord Byron ring
The Lord Byron mourning ring from 1824 that sold at Tennants for £9200.

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Estimated at £3000-5000, it was knocked down at £9200 – a sum which compared to the £6200 bid at Gorringe's in February 2013 for one of only two other known examples of this type of ring.

The ring sold at Gorringe's also came with a lock of Byron’s hair but had a few small chips.

The only other recorded example is part of the Pforzheimer collection now housed at the New York Public Library.

Association to Byron

The rings were made by Charles Rawlings of London and contemporaneous accounts suggest that these rings were associated with Byron’s family and close friends.

The ring at Tennants was inherited by the vendor and, reputedly, came from the contents of Newstead Abbey, Byron’s Nottinghamshire home. Byron sold the abbey and its contents to his old school friend, Col Thomas Wildman, in 1818. Wildman subsequently sold the Abbey to William Frederick Webb in 1861.

Composed of 18ct gold, the ring has black enamelling to a central plaque which reads Byron under a coronet, and to the outer band is gold script reading In memory of. Engraved inside the band are the words: Died 19 April 1824, Aged 36.

Speaking before the sale, Tennants’ jewellery specialist Melanie Saleem said: “There is always great interest around items associated with Lord Byron, and the rarity, provenance and exceptional condition of this ring is sure to appeal to collectors.”