Fede ring

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.

Object Details

ID: JEW0168
Collection: Decorative art
Type: Fede ring
Display location: Display - Nelson, Navy, Nation Gallery
Creator: Unknown
Places: Cape Trafalgar
Events: Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar, 1805
Date made: 1800-05
Exhibition: Seduction and Celebrity: The Spectacular Life of Emma Hamilton
People: Nelson, Horatio; Hamilton, Emma
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Nelson-Ward Collection
Measurements: Overall: 9 x 22 mm

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