According to the 1957 letter accompanying this lot, the ring was given by the Emperor to Alan Stevenson (1807-1865), the famed Scottish lighthouse engineer, following "the completion of the light house construction carried out by him in the year 1830. It is understood that to show his appreciation the Emperor drew the ring from his little finger and presented it with a grandiose flourish."
Thence by descent
Excerpt from Craig Muir, A Star for Seamen: The Stevenson Family of Engineers, London, 1978, p. 175:
"Of all the Stevensons, Alan was the most unusual engineer. He had unquestioned abilities, and by [the 1840s] had already been presented with medals from the kings of Holland and Prussia and with a splendid diamond ring from Czar Nicholas of Russia for his lighthouse work."
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