Poison Ring

February 01, 2013 Posted by: David Daly

A glass and gold ring that probably belonged to Frances Appleton Longfellow.

This unusual ring was found in a jewelry box owned by Frances Elizabeth Appleton before her marriage to Henry W. Longfellow, as the box bears the initials "F.E.A."  Made of a hollow glass ring topped by a gold hinged cap set with seven small turquoise stones, the ring has a tiny stamped mark in the shape of a ram's head, which may indicate that it was made in France sometime between 1817 and 1838 (Frances Appleton was born in 1817, and married Henry W. Longfellow in 1843.)  The ring is pictured above with the cap both closed and opened.  Although the ring belongs to a category often referred to as poison rings, it more likely contained perfume, or some other personal memento with special meaning to the wearer.  This ring still contains what appears to be ground leaves or other plant material.

Last updated: April 30, 2013

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