A very fine French Gothic Revival ring, with an openwork design of two fire breathing chimerae* supporting a cornflower blue sapphire cabochon. The entire ring is hand-wrought in gold, with chased detail also rendered “a jour” in which the gold is cut all the way through to highlight the design. This may have been a man's pinkie ring, and is appropriate for either gender today.
The late 1800s is known for what is commonly called “revivalist” style, where countries harkened back to the artistic movements from previous centuries. Movements like Etruscan, Gothic and Renaissance revival inspired some of the most magnificent examples of late 19th century jewelry. The French jewelers Jules Wiese and Froment-Meurice were known for exceptional Gothic and Renaissance revival jewelry, while Castellani revived the fine gold work of the Etruscan era. Their pieces are considered to be the ultimate examples of quality from the era, and this piece definitely finds itself in this echelon.
The ring has French assay marks for 18k gold and an unidentified maker’s mark.
Gross weight: 8.7g Stone: cabochon cut sapphire, approximately 0.81 carats
Size: US 7.5 The ring could be sized down slightly by soldering sizing beads inside the band. It cannot be sized upward without disrupting the design.
*A chimera was a Greek mythological creature with the head of a lion and wings of a dragon that breathed fire.
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