Friday, October 25, 2013

Mastery of Design: A Garnet Ring with an Onyx Cameo of George IV

Ring with Miniature Cameo of George IV
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
via The Royal Collection Trust
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Click on image for larger size.  

Made circa 1820, this handsome gold ring sports a miniature white on black onyx cameo which has been bezel-set into a faceted, foil-backed garnet.

While it was made during the Regency Period, the ring didn't come to the Royal Collection until it was acquired by Queen Mary in 1933.  

Throughout the Regency and the 1820s, Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, then the Royal Goldsmiths, supplied George IV with a variety of rings set with cameos and intaglios cut with his likeness. Georgie would give these rings as tokens of affection to his favorites.  

This ring, however, appears to be the only one of its kind, set with a miniature cameo into a garnet.  This cameo, in fact, is the smallest in The Royal Collection.

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