Eustis Estate

Remember: Ring

This unusual double mourning ring commemorates husband and wife Zephaniah and Hannah Leonard, who died on the same day in 1766. Beneath the coffin-shaped crystals lie tiny drawings of skeletons. Family tradition held that the eldest daughter of the eldest son in each generation would inherit the ring.

Mourning rings from this period often included images of skeletons, skulls, and other reminders of death’s presence, recalled in the common phrase memento mori or “remember death.” Close family and friends received such rings to commemorate the dead. Mourning rings were often paid for with funds from the estate of the deceased.