Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mastery of Design: King Louis-Philippe’s Diamond Ring, 1840

Gold, Enamel, Diamonds
French, 1840
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This attractive ring of enameled gold, rose-cut and European-cut diamonds was created for French ruler Louis-Philippe in 1840. While it was made for the King, it was not intended for him to wear, but rather to present as a token of esteem.

It was (and still is) common practice for sovereigns to present rings (or boxes) which featured their portrait or cipher as a symbol of friendship or as a reward for loyal service. As we can see, this sparking ring bears the cipher of Louis-Philippe of France (reign: 1830-48).

Louis-Philippe was always quick to reward loyalty. He had many detractors as the last member of the Bourbon monarchy to reign in France. Plagued by troubles, Louis-Philippe abdicated as part of the 1848 Revolution. Napoleon III rose to power immediately after.


Anonymous said...

It sure would be nice to be on the King's gift list.

Joseph Crisalli said...

I agree!