The M.H.S.’s blog explains:
This ring, part of the MHS collections, commemorates John Gray, the infant son of John and Mary Otis Gray and nephew of political writer Mercy Otis Warren.The surviving John Gray was the wealthy owner of the rope factory where ropemaker William Green and Pvt. Patrick Walker got into a fight on 2 Mar 1770, leading to the Boston Massacre. Gray leaned toward the Crown, but wasn’t active in politics. He remained in America through the war instead of leaving like his brother Harrison Gray, the royal treasurer.
John died at only six days old. The ring has a design of three joined enameled scrolls and a gold foil skull under a square crystal. The inscription that runs around the outside of the band reads, “J:GRAY OB·17·SEP 1763·Æ 6D,” meaning “John Gray died 17 September 1763 aged 6 days.”
Less than two months after the infant’s death, his mother died as well, and a ring was made in her memory.
The exhibit can be viewed for free from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday through Saturday, until 31 Jan 2013. On 15 November, jeweler Sarah Nehama and Anne Bentley of the M.H.S., the co-curators, will offer an free tour of the exhibit, talking about individual pieces. On 7 December Bentley will highlight the items from three particular families over the decades. Nehama has written a handsome full-color catalogue that would make a fine holiday present for your favorite Goth.