Dating to c.1700-1720, this Stuart crystal ring is a fabulous survival as well as a highly-wearable, investment-worthy jewel!
As most collector's know, rings and slides set with Stuart crystals are among the Holy Grails of the antique jewelry collector, as well they should be, as these historic jewels rarely survive into the 21st century, and are among the earliest examples of mourning and sentimental jewelry! These rarities date from 1649, when the first mourning jewelry for the martyred King Charles I was commissioned by Royalists, and we see the last Stuart crystals mounted in much more elaborate mourning rings of the 1750s. This example dates to c. 1710, and is set with a Stuart crystal, beneath which one can see the characteristic pink foil of this decade, as well as a tiny swatch of hair overlaid with a gold wire cypher and rosette!
Measuring 7/8" long x 1/4" across the width of the bezel, this lovely ring has survived over three centuries in outstanding, all-original condition! This museum-worthy ring is wrought from 15k yellow gold topped by the sterling silver into which the rock crystals are mounted (all materials unmarked but tested). The center of the bezel houses the Stuart crystal, which measures 6 mm x 8 mm. The crystal is exquisitely faceted at the edges, and is collet-set in a pushed-up, dome-backed mounting of 15k yellow gold. In keeping with Stuart crystals of the first two decades of the 1700s, the crystal is set with foil above a tiny hair token, with the initials "J.G." intertwined in gold wire, surrounded by the rosette-style border associated with Stuart crystals dating from 1690-1730.
On either side of the crystal are two rock crystal "diamonds," each slightly graduated in size, the largest measuring 3.5 mm in diameter. As with all English jewelry of the turn of the 18th century, the rock crystals are set in silver and foiled at the back, and the foils are bright and lively, adding even more dazzle to this restrained, late Baroque design! In keeping with the up-to-the-minute jewelry designs of the opening decades of the 18th century, hoop and bezel are more "D" shaped than completely rounded; a style which lasted until c.1730. The back of the bezel is also hand-engraved with an elegant fluted design. JUST FABULOUS!
Simply an outstanding example of Stuart-era jewelry, this has made it into the 21st century in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for. This ring was clearly cherished over the past three centuries, and likely spent a good deal of its history hidden away, as it is free of losses, repairs or replacements! The only sign of wear is that the cypher "floats" within the crystal; after many generations it was not uncommon for the cypher to come loose, but this is a hallmark of is outstanding age. Otherwise, this ring is as fresh as a Stuart crystal example gets; it has never even been re-sized!
This elegant ring is a size 6 3/4, and should NOT be re-sized, as to do so would compromise its all-original integrity of this jewel, and affect its considerable value. Best of all, this rarity really lights up on the hand, and with gentle wear, will last another three centuries! (Please note that this ring should not be exposed to water.) Simply an outstanding example of early Georgian sentimental jewelry, this ring is SO desirable on all levels; it is just the sort of ring I would love to keep for my own collection, but one cannot keep it all and pay the bills, so let my loss be your gain! If you collect the ULTIMATE in early jewelry, this ring belongs on your hand and in your collection! It would also make the gift of a lifetime for that special lady who loves the best in Stuart crystals, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this rarity; it is the only one I have in stock, up to 90-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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