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Ring with Miniature Portrait

Date: 1771
7/8 in. (2.2 cm.)
Medium: gold, enamel, ivory, ink and gold leaf
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Inscription: Inscription inscribed on verso in center 'BTB'; engraved around outter band 'taken from the evil to come 8 Dec. 1771'
Object Number: 96.22B
Label Text:Many portraits were painted posthumously to commemorate a lost loved one. They often included on the reverse mourning imagery, painted in monochrome with chopped hair dissolved into the watercolor, which sometimes depicted a tomb inscribed with the loved one's name. This mourning miniature for Blaney Townley Balfour, a friend of Horace Walpole, shows a tomb inscribed "BTB born 14th June 1744 Ob 8th Dec. 1771" and around the perimeter "He being made perfect in a short time fulfill'd a long life." The companion mourning ring is engraved on the band "taken from the evil to come 8 Dec. 1771."