Americana & Paintings
April 8, 2011 – April 9, 2011
April 9, 2011
EXTREMELY RARE PAUL REVERE MEMENTO MORI GOLD RING Late 18th Century
Revere’s impressed “PR” mark on inside with engraved inscription: “Rev’d Saml. Dunbar ou (?) June 15, 1783 ae 78”. Reverend Samuel Dunbar, a Patriot from Stoughton (now Canton), Massachusetts, received two degrees from Harvard College and became the Second Pastor of Stoughton’s first church. He served as Chaplain for the troops at Crown Point during the 1755 British victory over the French at Lake George. As discontent grew among the population of the colonies, Rev. Dunbar changed sides. Known as the “Son of Thunder”, he became a powerful supporter of the Patriot cause in the Revolution. He was instrumental in arranging the meeting between Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and Joseph Warren to write the Suffolk Resolves, believed to be the precursor to the Declaration of Independence. The meeting took place at the Doty Tavern in Canton, Massachusetts. Rev. Dunbar was the first minister to publicly read the Declaration of Independence from the pulpit. Paul Revere mourning rings are extremely rare, and signed examples are nonexistent to the best of our knowledge. Memento Mori rings were presented to close friends of the deceased as a token of remembrance. The rings were often made from other mourning rings the deceased owned. A mourning ring by the New York silversmith Myer Myers sold at auction in 2007 for almost $10,000.
A recent article by George T. Comeau, Esq. was published in the March 10th edition of the Canton Citizen. Mr. Comeau is a local Canton historian, attorney, a curator at the Canton Historical Society, a member of the Canton Historical Commission, and a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His research, with assistance from the staff at the Paul Revere House, resulted in connecting this particular ring to Paul Revere and his group of prominent friends. It was found that Revere made a 1783 entry in his day book regarding making eight rings for “Capt. James Indicot”. James Indicot was actually James Endicott of Canton, a prominent citizen and close friend of Paul Revere. Revere’s day book entry, made after May but before July 1783 states: “to 8 Gold morn’g ring, weight 15.8 – 4 pounds, 4 shilling, 4 pence. Making --- 1 pound, 6 shilling, 8 pence – Paid”. Dunbar’s obituary describes his funeral procession: “…the pall supported by eight of the neighboring ministers”. While it could be easily assumed that the eight rings were commissioned for Dunbar’s eight pallbearers, there is no way to be certain. Mr. Comeau’s article can be read in the online edition of the Canton Citizen (URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=3610).
Slight dent or pinch on one side.
The description of the item above may not be the final version used in the catalog. The descriptions are as yet unedited and may contain mistakes. The description, estimates and photos could all be wrong. In rare cases they may not end up in this sale. Once the items have received their lot number the descriptions will have been changed if needed.