A very poignant and beautiful Regency era Georgian mourning band. With beautifully chased floral scrolls, the center reads “IN MEMORY OF”, and the interior bears the inscription, “Henriette Maria Straubenzee ob 5 Mar 1818 æt 26”. It is hard to find a heavy and wide one like this with a single palette white enamel, and the color generally indicates the deceased was unmarried. The ring is fully English hallmarked: 'Crown 18' for 18k gold, 'Lion head' for London assay office, 'Letter b' for the year of 1817 (hallmark) / 1818 (inscription), 'Profile of George III' excise duty mark for gold and 'SG' for makers mark.
According to parish records, Henrietta Maria Straubenzee was baptized on 25 December 1791 in Spennithorne, York, England. She passed away on 5 March 1818 at only age 26, and was laid to rest in the van Straubenzee vault at St. Michael and All Angels Churchyard, Spennithorne. Henrietta and her family are recorded in Bernard Burke’s “A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland” (1898). The Van Straubenzees were a family of noble descent in the Netherlands; in 1798, General A. Van Straubenzee was the governor of Lutphen. A branch of the family settled in England when Philip-William-Casimir, elder brother of the Governor and a captain in the Dutch guards, came to England c.1745, and was subsequently naturalized by act of Parliament. Henrietta’s father, Marwood-Turner Van Straubenzee, esq., was in the 3rd Guards and served in the American war. He was later made a magistrate and vice-lieutenant of North Riding, as well as colonel of the Loyal Dales volunteers and North York local militia. Tragically, his family preceded him in death: Henrietta Maria, his wife, died 1803 aged 50; his son, C. Turner, died 1790 an infant; his daughter, Henrietta Maria of the present ring, died 1818 aged 26. According to a memorial plaque in the van Straubenzee vault, Henrietta had passed away in St. Austell, Cornwall, far from home in North York. During the Regency era, doctors commonly recommended patients (especially those suffering from tuberculosis) to convalesce in warmer climates; beach towns along the south English coast were popular destinations for the ill. It’s possible Henrietta died so far from home for this reason. Due to a lack of natural heirs, Marwood-Turner Van Straubenzee’s estate went to a great nephew upon his death in 1823. The last image shows the memorial plaque at St.Michael and All Angels Churchyard, Spennithorne, North Yorkshire, England.
Width: Approximately 12mm
US Size: 9 (fits like 8-8.5 due to the width of the band)
*Please note: due to their Dutch heritage, Henrietta’s name is sometimes styled “Henriette” (the Dutch variant), while the Straubenzee surname is variously styled with or without the Dutch “van” prefix.