Medieval Rings

les Enluminures
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring

POMANDER IN THE FORM OF A BOOK

Southern Germany, c. 1620–1650

Gilded silver, engraved

  • 81.400 €
  • £72,800
  • $95,000
  • POMANDER IN THE FORM OF A BOOK

    Southern Germany, c. 1620–1650
    Gilded silver, engraved
    Weight 80.7 grams; dimensions 83 × 37 × 16 mm (136 mm open)

    Description
    Gilded silver pomander in the form of a book with hinged covers, with a small spoon as a clasp. Inside are six compartments on either side of a hinged central divider engraved with the names of substances contained in each compartment: GIEFT.LATW. (Gift Latwerge = poison plum pulp), BERNST.B. (amber balm), RAVT.B. (Raute Balsam = oil based plant), KRVSE.B. (Krause Balsam = balm for frizzy hair), ZIMET.B (cinnamon balm), POMMER.OEL. (hair pomade), NEGLEN.B. (clove balm), GVLD.EI. (gold), MVSCAT. OEL (nutmeg oil), LAVEN.B. (lavender balm), SCHLAG.SAL (apoplexy salt), ROSEN.B. (rose balm). A serpent-shaped pendant loop rests on a miniature spherical pomander in openwork. The book cover is finely engraved with fruits and foliage.

    Comparisons and Literature
    The book form as a pomander is extremely rare. A smaller version exists from the period of James I, c. 1610 (Delieb 2002, p. 76, plate 116) in the Wellcome Collection, London (Smollich 1983, no. 56, inv. no. A 642182). Pomanders often contained four to six different spices, scents, and balms; this example, however, is exceptional in its form, craftsmanship, and also in its container for twelve substances, with a miniature pomander on top. The owner must have come from a prominent and wealthy family. The identification of the various substances contained in this pomander has been confirmed by Heiner Meininghaus and is based on a book published in Germany Die Württenberger Apothekentaxe von 1626. The fine engraving with various designs on the cover combines pea-pod ornaments and botanical drawings of the period, probably from southern Germany (cf. Berliner 1925, vol. 2, no. 326).

    Reference number: 78033

  • Renaissance & Baroque

    Considerable evidence exists concerning the making and wearing of rings in the Renaissance. Their appearance in painted portraits confirms that they continued to be worn on multiple fingers, suspended from chains and ribbons, sewn onto sleeves or hats, and so forth. When not worn they were sometimes stored on parchment rolls or in neatly compartmentalized boxes, known from documents and paintings. In the Renaissance, the medieval practice of using uncut stones was abandoned in favor of faceting; table-cut facets were among the earliest and most popular, but other cuts rapidly followed. Making rings that would show off best the qualities of the stone became a skill that exercised the virtuosity of cutters, chasers, engravers, enamellers, and goldsmiths sometimes in collaboration. The highly sculpturesque quality of most Renaissance and Baroque rings can be compared with the striving for greater veracity that characterizes the monumental arts of this period.

    By far the most common type of ring from the Renaissance was the boxed bezel set with faceted stones in highly ornate geometric bezels with intricate articulated shoulders, sometimes with protruding volutes, the whole richly enameled. Surviving drawings for rings by sixteenth-century goldsmith-designers Etienne Delaune, Pierre Woeiriot, and René Boyvin record variations on this type. Often reviving classical subjects and motifs, numerous cameos and intaglios also date from this era, produced under illustrious, often princely, patronage. By the sixteenth century the careers of famous gem-cutters can be reconstructed; they include Valerio Belli, Alessandro Cesati, Alessandro Masnago, and Francesco Torino. However, few Renaissance cameos and intaglios appear in their original mounts, because they were often made not as rings but rather as virtuoso carvings, kept in drawers in cabinets and taken out and admired by Renaissance princes.

    During Elizabethan and Tudor times in England, commonplace books (the earliest dated 1596) were used by goldsmiths and their customers to provide appropriate inscriptions for rings. References to posy rings (from “poésie” or poetry) abound in literature of the period; for example, in Shakespeare's Hamlet (III, ii, 162): “Is this a prologue, or the posy of a ring.” The discovery of the New World also wrought changes in the evolution of rings, as it did for painting, because new stones became available. The newly prized diamond, expensive then as now, was often imitated by the similarly favored rock crystal. Extensive surviving pictorial evidence is useful because it contributes to a more precise dating and localization of rings from this era.

     

  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
ring

POMANDER IN THE FORM OF A BOOK

Southern Germany, c. 1620–1650
Gilded silver, engraved
Weight 80.7 grams; dimensions 83 × 37 × 16 mm (136 mm open)

USD $95,000

Description
Gilded silver pomander in the form of a book with hinged covers, with a small spoon as a clasp. Inside are six compartments on either side of a hinged central divider engraved with the names of substances contained in each compartment: GIEFT.LATW. (Gift Latwerge = poison plum pulp), BERNST.B. (amber balm), RAVT.B. (Raute Balsam = oil based plant), KRVSE.B. (Krause Balsam = balm for frizzy hair), ZIMET.B (cinnamon balm), POMMER.OEL. (hair pomade), NEGLEN.B. (clove balm), GVLD.EI. (gold), MVSCAT. OEL (nutmeg oil), LAVEN.B. (lavender balm), SCHLAG.SAL (apoplexy salt), ROSEN.B. (rose balm). A serpent-shaped pendant loop rests on a miniature spherical pomander in openwork. The book cover is finely engraved with fruits and foliage.

Comparisons and Literature
The book form as a pomander is extremely rare. A smaller version exists from the period of James I, c. 1610 (Delieb 2002, p. 76, plate 116) in the Wellcome Collection, London (Smollich 1983, no. 56, inv. no. A 642182). Pomanders often contained four to six different spices, scents, and balms; this example, however, is exceptional in its form, craftsmanship, and also in its container for twelve substances, with a miniature pomander on top. The owner must have come from a prominent and wealthy family. The identification of the various substances contained in this pomander has been confirmed by Heiner Meininghaus and is based on a book published in Germany Die Württenberger Apothekentaxe von 1626. The fine engraving with various designs on the cover combines pea-pod ornaments and botanical drawings of the period, probably from southern Germany (cf. Berliner 1925, vol. 2, no. 326).

Reference number: 78033

You might also like

  • AMULET PENDANT WITH FIGA

    Spain, c. 1620–1630

  • HORSE RATTLE PENDANT

    Spain or Italy, 18th century

  • PENDANT WITH THE SANTA FAZ OF JAÉN

    Spain (Jaén), late 16th century

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH ST. CATHERINE

    Capsule: Transylvania; medallion: Germany, c. 1475–1500

  • PENDANT WITH THE ANNUNCIATION MINIATURES BY VALERIO MARUCELLI (1563–1626)

    Italy, c. 1620

  • BADGE WITH ST. JAMES THE GREAT

    Northern Spain, 16th century

  • PENDANT WITH VIRGIN OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

    Spain (Andalucia or Estremadura), c. 1630

  • ROSARY BEAD WITH WENDEKOPF

    Germany, 16th century

  • DEVOTIONAL PENDANT

    Spain (Jaén), 17th century

  • PENDANT WITH AGNUS DEI

    Italy (probably Lombardy), 15th century

  • TRIPTYCH PENDANT WITH VIRGIN AND CHILD (MARIA LACTANS)

    Italy, 17th century

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH PEARL

    Spain or Spanish Netherlands, c. 1620

  • MEMENTO MORI SKULL PENDANT

    Germany, 17th century

  • ROCK CRYSTAL PENDANT WITH COLUMN

    France or Italy, 16th century

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT IN BOOK FORM

    Southern Germany, probably Augsburg, c. 1550

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT IN BOOK FORM

    Probably southern Germany, 1630–40

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT IN BOOK FORM

    Probably southern Germany, late 16th-early 17th century

  • DIPTYCH PENDANT WITH VIRGIN AND CHILD AND CRUCIFIXION SCENE

    Probably Germany (Lower Rhine?), late 14th century

  • HEART PENDANT

    Spain or Italy, c. 1600

  • RELIQUARY PENDANT WITH CHRIST ON THE CROSS

    Germany, c. 1480–1500

  • RENAISSANCE PECTORAL CROSS PENDANT

    Western Europe, probably southern Germany, c. 1600

  • RELIQUARY CROSS PENDANT

    Spain, early 17th century

  • RELIQUARY CROSS PENDANT

    Balkans (probably Bulgaria), 18th-19th century

  • TWO COLLARS FOR AN ABBESS

    Spain, 17th century