This miniature carved likeness of Elizabeth I is a fine example of the cameo portraits worn by the queen’s courtiers as a sign of their taste, patriotism and proximity to the monarch.

Its handsome setting on an enamelled gold band is a rare survival. The ring was bought by Kenneth Snowman in 1960 and placed on loan to the V&A in 1975, soon after his friend Roy Strong became director. The ring is now presented to the V&A by Snowman’s son Nicholas as a record of this friendship and of his family’s long connection with the museum.


Loria collection (sold Sotheby's 1953); Desmoni collection (sold Sotheby's 1960)

V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)

Cromwell Road, London, Greater London, SW7 2RL
020 7942 2000

Opening times

Daily, 10am – 5.45pm (Fri until 10pm)

Exhibitions at V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)

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