Fellows and Sons | Established 1876

Rare 17th century Charles I Stuart crystal ring up for auction


Fellows’ upcoming Antique & Modern Jewellery sale features a 17th century Stuart crystal memorial portrait ring, depicting Charles I. The ring entered to sale with an estimate of £1,200 – £1,800. The central portrait of Charles I sits protected beneath rock crystal. The ring is Lot 504 in the auction on Thursday 6th December.


Charles I became heir following the death of his brother, Henry, in 1612. He then became king in 1625.  A controversial figure who appeared to lack leadership, the tenure of Charles I resulted in the outbreak of civil war. The king himself was eventually executed following a lengthy war against Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentarians. Charles was beheaded in Whitehall on 30th January 1649, and he was buried at Windsor Castle on 9th February, following the refusal to lay him to rest at Westminster Abbey.

17th century Charles I Stuart crystal ring

A late 17th century gold Stuart crystal memorial portrait miniature ring, depicting Charles I.

The execution of Charles I prompted the emergence of memorial jewellery in Puritan England, with loyal Royalist supporters wearing jewellery set with a secret inscription or image to mourn their deceased king. Memorial jewellery differed from memento mori styles in that it commemorated a particular person.

Alex Duffy, Jewellery Specialist from Fellows Auctioneers, said: Royalist mementos such as this are few and far between, so it is a pleasure to be able to offer one up for sale. The naively painted portrait of the fallen king, within its enamel bezel, is a fine example of Stuart Crystal jewellery.”

You can watch a video of Alex discussing this item here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmLEkfk8vtc


The Antique & Modern Jewellery sale is now available to view online and in person at the following times:

27 November 2018 12 noon – 7pm (London)

1 December 2018 11am – 4pm (Birmingham)

4 December 2018 10am – 4pm (Birmingham)

5 December 2018 10am – 4pm (Birmingham)

6 December 2018 8.30am – 11am (Birmingham)

Photo ID is required