An interesting and rare gold and garnet ring from the mid- to late-1600s. A hoop engraved with acanthus design supports a wide bezel, the center is set with a facetted garnet in a round collet, surrounded by eight foiled garnets – seven table cut and one facetted – are set in closed back setting. The arcaded sides of the bezel show traces of the bluish-black enamel dotted with white that was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries.
This style of ring was popular in the late 1600s in Western Europe, specifically Spain, Holland and France. The s-shaped acanthus design on the shank reminds us of Baroque architecture in Western Europe. Although European in origin, remarkably this ring was found in New Mexico, where it may have resided for many years given the intersection of Spanish and Southwestern cultures. The “dimple” decoration in the setting is emblematic of Spanish rings from this time.
Similar examples can be seen in the Koch Collection (Anna Chadour ©1994) entries #768, #769, #778, #779, #781. A similar example is part of the collection of the Museum of Sweden.
Condition: The ring shows wear consistent with its age, including loss of enamel, the stones show abrasions, one stone is chipped in two places; one stone is a replacement. Dimensions: the setting measures approximately 2cm across and 1.5cm high
Hallmarks: unmarked, tests variously at different points, but generally as 15k gold
Gross Weight: 5.1 grams
Size 6 ¼ US