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Rev D. P. Phelan, editor of the St Louis "Western Watchman," has, according to the " Republic" of that city, in his possession the ring that once graced the finger of Pope Pius IX. The ring is now the property of Mr Robert Bagnall, of that city, who accompanied Father Phelan on his recent trip to the Eternal City. The late Pope directed that upon his death all his possessions, even down to his jewels and clothing, be sold at public auction and the proceeds be given to the poor. In the face of spirited" bidding from the college of Cardinals, 1 a wealthy Roman lady secured the ring. At> the time Father Phelan and Mr Bagnall were in├čomethislady, being thenin greatly reduced circumstances, made overtures to them through a tliird party for the sale of the ring. The lady's offer was gladly accepted, and Mr Bagnall became the pur-1 chaser of the jewel at a round. sum. Father Phelan satisfied himself that it was the pontifical ring from the assurance of Monsignor Ricci major domo for Pope Plus IX., now Cardinal Ricci. It is a massive seal ilig with an exquisite emerald setting, surrounded by 102 smaller stones, diamonds, sapphires, pearls and rubies. Aside from its sacred associations the ring possesses an intrinsic value of many thousands of dollars. Surrounding the emerald are 26 pearls; extending around the sides are 20 diamonds, on each side of the emerald is a small selitaire surrounded by brilliants ; on the corner facets of the seal are 34 stones, following the same arrangement, being set in triangular form ; below the double row of diamonds on each side appear a ruby and two sapphires. The entire arrangement is in perfect artistic taste, and the jewel is worthy a place in a royal collection. The workmanship on this ring is estimated at 1500dols and the emerald worth 2000dols at the lowest valuation. Mr Bagnall and Father Phelan had some difficulty in keeping it, for, when a high church official obtained a glimpse of it, demand was at once made that it be not allowed to be taken out of the country. Archbishop Croke was also , inconsolable when he learned that he I could not keep the treasure in Ireland. I

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2426, 10 May 1890

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Ashburton Guardian Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2426, 10 May 1890