Dating to c.1850-1860, this ring is a masterful work of wearable art with a Royal connection!
Measuring 1 1/4" x 7/8", the bezel of this superlative jewel boasts a marvelously-rendered cameo portrait of the husband of Queen Victorian, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861) dressed in the garb of of Mars, the Roman God of War! Hand-carved in agate, Prince Albert is depicted facing left, and is portrayed as a man in the prime of his life, wearing a Roman suit of armor with a lion's pelt cloak, his curling hair covered by a helmet with a crouching dragon on top! Mars has a wonderful profile, lidded eyes, and even a very Victorian curling mustache and "Dundreary" side whiskers! As you can see from the last photograph (taken in the mid-1850s), he is the very image of Prince Albert!
Prince Albert would die of pneumonia in 1861 at the young age of 42, and lifetime portraits of him are exceedingly rare. The cameo is carved in comparably low relief, but the figure in marble-white contrasts wonderfully against the chocolate-brown background of the agate. It took extra skill on the part of the cameo carver to achieve this level of detail, and the result is truly museum-quality (a term that I do not toss around loosely)! The cameo is bezeled in a rubbed-over mounting of 14k gold with a touch of rose in the alloy. The bezel also features a rope-work border and rope-work motifs on the shoulders. The result is a finely-crafted jewel which is suitable for wear by a lady or a gentleman! JUST SUBLIME!
Due to the proportions of the cameo, the ring mounting has a "D" shaped hoop, and is a size 5 1/2, although the plainness of the rear of the shank would allow for easy re-sizing by a good lapidary for little cost. Weighing in at 9.23 grams, this is a substantial jewel which has survived in pristine condition after over 160 years! This ring is so minty-fresh that it looks as if it has hardly been worn, and looks oh-so-impressive on the hand!
If you collect the finest in Victorian cameo jewelry, this very regal jewel belongs on your hand and in your collection! It would also make a stellar gift for any lady or gentleman fond of the finest in historic hard stone cameos or English Royal memorabilia, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this bespoke beauty; up to 60 day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
I WILL BE OUT OF THE OFFICE From 10/5-10/25. Orders May Be Placed and Paid For, But Will Not Be Shipped Until 10/26. Thanks!