Jewellery, Decorative art

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Fede ring

JEW0168
Jewellery

Object connections:

Collection Jewellery, Decorative art
ExhibitionsSeduction and Celebrity: The Spectacular Life of Emma Hamilton
Gallery locationNelson, Navy, Nation Gallery (Floor plans)
PeopleProvenance: Nelson, Horatio
Historical Association/Provenance: Hamilton, Emma
EventsNapoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar, 1805

Object details:

Object ID JEW0168
Description Gold 'fede' or betrothal ring, the bezel of the ring is made in the form of two clasped hands. This ring is one of a pair exchanged by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) and Emma, Lady Hamilton (circa 1765-1815). It was worn by Nelson at the time of his death. Emma's ring is in the collections of the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth. Nelson and Emma took communion together before his departure, and probably exchanged rings at this time. They were enacting the more informal kind of betrothal that preceded the 'Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriages' of 1753. These unofficial ceremonies might include the exchange of vows between friends.
Date made 1800-1805

Artist/Maker Unknown
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Nelson-Ward Collection
Materials gold
Measurements Overall: 9 x 22 mm
Parts
  • Fede ring (JEW0168)
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