Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: An Ivory and Diamond Ring, 1750-1800

Ivory and Diamond Ring
Gold, Crystal, Diamonds, Ivory and, possibly, shell.
Possibly German.
The Victoria & Albert Museum
In the late Eighteenth Century, ivory was prized as an exotic and valuable medium. Ivory found its way into a variety of uses from household items to jewelry. Due to its durability and its ability to be carved into delicate and intricate patterns, ivory was a highly desirable material.

This ring by an unknown maker probably comes from Germany between 1750 and 1800. German jewelers were known for their fine ivory carvings and rings such as this were often imported into Britain. Housed behind a crystal dome, an ivory carving shows an intricate pastoral scene. Ethereal in its frame of diamonds, the piece has been set in gold.

For a ring like this to survive this long is quite remarkable. Very often, the crystal was broken from daily wear. This example is in exquisite condition.

No comments: