Medieval Rings

les Enluminures
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Virgin and Child Ring by Sah Oved

London, c. 1920

Gold, silver, sapphires, diamonds

  • 12.500 €
  • £10,800
  • $14,000
  • Virgin and Child Ring by Sah Oved

    London, c. 1920
    Gold, silver, sapphires, diamonds
    Weight 4.1 gr.; circumference 53.16, US size 6.5, UK size N

    Sah Oved (1900-1983) was a natural talent and once described as a jeweler with a lovely sense of imagination. In 1923 she trained under the renowned Arts and Crafts jeweler John Paul Cooper, and it is here she developed her medieval style.  A turning point in her life was when she met the charismatic owner of Cameo Corner, Mosheh Oved, in 1927. She worked in the shop and undertook repairs, engraving and enameling of jewelry and learnt a variety of intricate goldsmithing techniques.  Oved’s designs were unique in the 1920s and 1930s, and many of the themes appearing in her work were allegorical or based on literature. She was Christian, but Jewish folklore surfaces in her work, perhaps influenced by her husband Mosheh. Her wide knowledge gained at Cameo Corner led her to write “The Book of Necklaces” which was published in 1953 and included a compilation of examples from the Stone Age to the nineteenth century.  This particular ring may well be the one mentioned in her husband’s autobiography that she saved and gave as a keepsake to her daughter.

    Description:
    The gold ring with hoop in D-section is bifurcated at the shoulders with openwork foliate ornament. The bezel is formed of a central plaque with a relief sculpture of the Virgin and Child enthroned under an arch with four alternate diamonds and sapphires set in silver and barley twist columns with two sapphires at the base. The ring is in excellent wearable condition.    

    Published:
    Auction catalogue, Jewellery, Bonham’s London, 12 December 2007, no. 152.

    Literature:
    Sah Oved’s work is rare, even though over ninety pieces are recorded in an order book from 1928-1933, of which many were rings. Her work is mentioned in Graham Hughes, Modern Jewelry: An International Survey, 1890-1963, London 1963, p. 243; Peter Hinks, Twentieth Century British Jewellery 1900-1980, London and Boston 1983, pp. 85-86; Barbara Cartlidge, Twentieth Century Jewelry, New York 1985, p. 213; and more recently Amanda Game and Dorothy Hogg, A Sense of Jewellery: Rediscovering British Jewellery Design, London 2015 (no page numbers).

    Reference number: 817

  • Diamond

    Precious, lustrous gemstones made of highly-compressed carbon, diamonds are one of the hardest materials known. Colors of diamonds range from colorless, yellow, orange, brown, to almost black. Rarer colors are red, blue, green, and purple; these colors (called fancies) are quite valuable. The largest-known gem-quality diamonds include the Cullinan (e. g., the Star of Africa, 530.20 carats), the Excelsior , the Great Mogul (an ancient Indian diamond which is said to have originally weighed 787.5 carats, but its location is unknown), the Darya-i-Nur , the Koh-i-Nur , and the Hope diamond (named for a purchaser, Henry Thomas Hope).

    Sapphire

    Precious gemstone (a type of corundum like the ruby), the sapphire ranges in color from blue to pink to yellow to green to white to purple (mauve sapphire) to pink-orange. Along with Sri Lanka, during the Middle Ages, Burma started selling its sapphire to India.

    Birthstone

    January-Garnet: Safe travel and a speedy homecoming
    February-Amethyst: Power to overcome difficulties
    March-Jasper: Courage
    April-Diamond: Everlasting love
    May-Emerald: Love and fidelity
    June- Pearl: Purity, Celebrate a birth
    July- Ruby: Prosperity (if worn on the left hand); Everlasting love (if worn on the right)
    August-Peridot and Sardonyx: Strength and growth; Happiness in a relationship
    September-Sapphire: Sincerity and faithfulness
    October-Opal and Tourmaline: Confidence and hope
    November-Citrine and Yellow Topaz: Strength and friendship
    December-Turquoise: Protects against evil and ill health

  • 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.

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ring

Virgin and Child Ring by Sah Oved

London, c. 1920
Gold, silver, sapphires, diamonds
Weight 4.1 gr.; circumference 53.16, US size 6.5, UK size N

USD $14,000

Sah Oved (1900-1983) was a natural talent and once described as a jeweler with a lovely sense of imagination. In 1923 she trained under the renowned Arts and Crafts jeweler John Paul Cooper, and it is here she developed her medieval style.  A turning point in her life was when she met the charismatic owner of Cameo Corner, Mosheh Oved, in 1927. She worked in the shop and undertook repairs, engraving and enameling of jewelry and learnt a variety of intricate goldsmithing techniques.  Oved’s designs were unique in the 1920s and 1930s, and many of the themes appearing in her work were allegorical or based on literature. She was Christian, but Jewish folklore surfaces in her work, perhaps influenced by her husband Mosheh. Her wide knowledge gained at Cameo Corner led her to write “The Book of Necklaces” which was published in 1953 and included a compilation of examples from the Stone Age to the nineteenth century.  This particular ring may well be the one mentioned in her husband’s autobiography that she saved and gave as a keepsake to her daughter.

Description:
The gold ring with hoop in D-section is bifurcated at the shoulders with openwork foliate ornament. The bezel is formed of a central plaque with a relief sculpture of the Virgin and Child enthroned under an arch with four alternate diamonds and sapphires set in silver and barley twist columns with two sapphires at the base. The ring is in excellent wearable condition.    

Published:
Auction catalogue, Jewellery, Bonham’s London, 12 December 2007, no. 152.

Literature:
Sah Oved’s work is rare, even though over ninety pieces are recorded in an order book from 1928-1933, of which many were rings. Her work is mentioned in Graham Hughes, Modern Jewelry: An International Survey, 1890-1963, London 1963, p. 243; Peter Hinks, Twentieth Century British Jewellery 1900-1980, London and Boston 1983, pp. 85-86; Barbara Cartlidge, Twentieth Century Jewelry, New York 1985, p. 213; and more recently Amanda Game and Dorothy Hogg, A Sense of Jewellery: Rediscovering British Jewellery Design, London 2015 (no page numbers).

Reference number: 817

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