Return to Tradition of Mourning Jewelry
Mary was born in 1730 to James and Mary Allyne Otis of Barnstable, Mass., and was the sister of James Otis Jr. and Mercy Otis Warren, author of one of the first histories of the Revolution. In 1761, Mary married Boston merchant and ropewalk owner John Gray, who was a Tory.
Mary (Otis) Gray died on November 5, 1763, just months after the death of her newborn son, John. Like her son’s ring, this item is comprised of three joined and enameled scrolls. The stones are faceted, including remains of a center amethyst in a rayed mount. The dedication on black cloisonné enamel contains text in raised gold Roman capitals on three scrolls on the outside reads, “M:GRAY OB:5NOV 1763.Æ33[.]”