Medieval Rings

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

Pair of French Revolutionary-Era Portrait Rings in Grisaille

France, c. 1780-90

Rose gold, graphite on vellum and crystal

  • 13.900 €
  • £12,300
  • $16,000
  • Pair of French Revolutionary-Era Portrait Rings in Grisaille

    France, c. 1780-90
    Rose gold, graphite on vellum and crystal
    a. (male): Weight 6.8 gr; bezel 31 x 21 mm.; circumference 48.79 mm.; US size 4 ¾; UK size J ¼ b. (female): Weight 6.3 gr.; bezel 31 x 21 mm.; circumference 58.21 mm.; US size 8 ½; UK size Q ¾

    Unusual pair of rings with miniature portraits in profile view, drawn in graphite on vellum and set under crystal with beveled edges. The female wears a palecolored chemise, her hair held by a ribbon loosely falling on her shoulder; the male with sideburns has his hair bound at the back in a ponytail and wears dark loose-fitting clothing. The mounts are made of rose gold with a slender hoop, plain on the interior and with a central ridge with beveled edges on the exterior. The expanded ends support the vertical rectangular bezel with slightly convex underside in gold to fit the curvature of the finger. It is extraordinarily rare (we found no other examples) to find a pair of portrait rings. In this instance, the male wore the ring of his wife, which has the larger band, and vice versa. Even when separated, the couple would thus be together.

    Reference number: 894

  • Bezel

    The upper, protruding part of a finger ring (excluding the hoop and the shoulders) often set with a gemstone.

    Hoop

    Also called the shank, the rounded part of the ring that encircles the finger and connects to the bezel at the shoulders.

  • Later

    It is virtually impossible to do justice to the evolution of jewelry from the Baroque period (c. 1700) to Modern times in a short synopsis, but these are a few highlights. Many of the functional aspects of finger-rings continued: they served for betrothal and marriage, for signing and family identification, for memorial purposes, as well as for pure ornament. However, some new types of rings emerge during this period: such as puzzle rings, gimmick rings, perfume rings, and rings that celebrated scientific achievements (e.g., watch rings) are but a few of the examples.

    This time span witnesses the emergence of the “archaeological style,” of which the work of Fortunato Pio Castellani in the 1830s to 1860s is a particularly well-known example, one that fits in the Neo-Classical period. We see the flourishing of other styles related to artistic movements in painting, sculpture, and architecture. These include Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement, both beginning around the 1880s, and Art Deco in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. It also covers the emergence of some of the most famous twentieth-century houses of jewelry, such as Cartier, Charmet, Boucheron, Bulgari, Tiffany’s, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Mellerio, to mention only a few. Jewelry historians responsible for exhibitions in major museums have begun to trace the historical contributions and characterize the styles of jewelry, including rings, not only of these different artistic movements, but also of these great houses.

    Two other sometimes-overlapping categories of later jewelry are of significant import. The first category, “artist jewelry,” consists of jewelry by artists mostly known for their work in other media, such as Picasso, Calder, Dali, Robert Indiana, Louise Bourgeois, Yves Klein, Anish Kapoor, and many others. The second category, “studio jewelry” includes work by modern and contemporary goldsmiths. Among those practicing today of special mention are Wendy Ramshaw and others belonging to the Goldsmith’s Company in London, dedicated to continuing the craft since it received its first royal charter in 1327. Others of different national origins include the Italian Giovanni Corvaja (handled by Adrian Sassoon in London), the American Joel Arthur Rosenthal or JAR of Paris (whose international exhibition was staged at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in 2013), Otto Jakob of Germany, and the newcomer Wallace Chan of China. The experienced viewer-collector, as well as the newcomer to the field, can begin to learn about modern jewelry at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with its dedicated jewelry gallery and specialized curator, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London which houses the William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, and the private collection of Alice and Louis Koch.

  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
  • ring
ring

Pair of French Revolutionary-Era Portrait Rings in Grisaille

France, c. 1780-90
Rose gold, graphite on vellum and crystal
a. (male): Weight 6.8 gr; bezel 31 x 21 mm.; circumference 48.79 mm.; US size 4 ¾; UK size J ¼ b. (female): Weight 6.3 gr.; bezel 31 x 21 mm.; circumference 58.21 mm.; US size 8 ½; UK size Q ¾

USD $16,000

Unusual pair of rings with miniature portraits in profile view, drawn in graphite on vellum and set under crystal with beveled edges. The female wears a palecolored chemise, her hair held by a ribbon loosely falling on her shoulder; the male with sideburns has his hair bound at the back in a ponytail and wears dark loose-fitting clothing. The mounts are made of rose gold with a slender hoop, plain on the interior and with a central ridge with beveled edges on the exterior. The expanded ends support the vertical rectangular bezel with slightly convex underside in gold to fit the curvature of the finger. It is extraordinarily rare (we found no other examples) to find a pair of portrait rings. In this instance, the male wore the ring of his wife, which has the larger band, and vice versa. Even when separated, the couple would thus be together.

Reference number: 894

You might also like

  • RENAISSANCE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT CAMEO

    Italy (?), 16th-17th century

  • Jewish Wedding Ring

    Central or Eastern Europe, 18th century

  • Swivel Ring with Portrait of Napoleon in a Crystal Locket

    France, c. 1815

  • Renaissance Gimmel Ring with Ruby and Emerald

    Germany, dated 1571

  • “Sarah Bernhardt” Art Nouveau Ring by André Rambour

    France, dated 25 February 1902

  • RENAISSANCE CAMEO OF GALBA (?)

    Europe, 17th (?) century

  • RENAISSANCE BLACKAMOOR CAMEO RING

    Europe, 16th century

  • CAMEO RING OF A MAN IN PROFILE

    Italy, 16th century

  • Ruby and Zircon Band Ring

    Northern India, late 19th century

  • Ring with the God Krishna

    India, probably Calcutta, c. 1900-1915

  • Art Nouveau Ophelia Ring

    France, 1909

  • Art Nouveau Nymph and Satyr Ring by Arvisenet

    France, Paris?, c. 1900

  • Art Nouveau Lady with Pearl Ring

    France or Belgium, c. 1900

  • Watch Ring by Brédillard

    France, Paris, c. 1900-1910

  • Four First World War (or Patriotic) Iron Rings with Inscription “GOLD GAB ICH FÜR EISEN”

    Austro-Hungarian Empire / Germany, 1914-1919

  • “LOVE” Ring by Robert Indiana

    United States, 1969

  • Ionic Capital Rings by Stanley Tigerman

    United States and Italy, 1986-1987

  • Totentanz Ring by Claude Lévêque

    France, 2015

  • Posy Ring, “No riches to content”

    England, 18th century

  • Posy Ring, “THE GYFT OF A FRIND”

    England, late 16th – 17th century

  • Posy Ring, “Hearts United live Contented”

    England, 18th century

  • Posy Ring, “Gods intent none can prevent”

    England, 18th century

  • Memorial Ring, “Remember EP”

    England, early 18th century

  • Mourning Ring

    England, 1820

  • Posy Ring, “A true friends gift”

    England (Plymouth ?), first half of 18th century

  • Gold Ring with the Standing Virgin and Child and Openwork Band

    Early Byzantine, late 7th-early 8th century

  • Gold Ring with Engraved Warrior Saint (George?) and Inscription

    Early Byzantine, c. 550-650 AD

  • Gold Ring with Engraved Virgin and Child and Inscription

    Byzantine Empire, 6th-7th century AD

  • Gold Ring with Personification of Constantinople

    Early Byzantine, c. 500-600 AD

  • Posy Ring, "I long to have but blush to crave"

    England, 17th century

  • Goat Ring by Mosheh Oved

    England, c. 1940

  • Horse Ring by Mosheh Oved

    England, c. 1940

  • Double Bull Ring by Mosheh Oved

    England, c. 1950

  • Memento mori Ring, “Like to me looke to be” with Death’s Head

    England, c. 1680-1720

  • Posy Ring, “+ NO CUTTE TO UNKINDNES”

    England, 17th century

  • Posy Ring, “Forget not he who loveth thee”

    England, 18th century

  • Garnet Cabochon Ring

    England, 13th century

  • Renaissance Rock Crystal Ring

    Western Europe, about 1580-1600

  • Diamond Cluster Ring

    Spain, c. 1660-1680

  • Posy Ring, "Meekenes merits mercy

    England, 17th century

  • Posy Ring, "God hath me sent my harts content"

    England, early 18th century

  • Ruby Cluster Ring

    Probably Italy, c. 1680-1700

  • Renaissance Enameled Ring Set with Emeralds

    Western Europe (France?), c. 1550-1600

  • Late Roman Band Set with Emeralds, Pearls, and Garnets

    Roman Empire (Eastern Mediterranean), 4th-5th century AD

  • Neoclassical Ring Set with a Carnelian Intaglio of Dionysius

    Likely Italy?, or perhaps England?, 18th century (intaglio); c. 1800 (mount)

  • Eighteenth-Century Ring Set with Diamonds and Enameled Playing Cards

    Probably France, c. 1750-80

  • Gothic Black Letter Ring with Inscription “na”

    England, 15th century

  • Baroque Ring with Skull Carved from a Human Tooth and Snakes Set with Diamonds and Rubies

    Central Europe, 18th century