An interesting and rarely seen 18th century ring set with an unusual duo chrome agate intaglio depicting three cherub musicians in a boat at sea, followed by a dolphin or sea creature. The boat appears to be suspended above the waves, as if being tossed, but the cherubs remain joyful and unfazed. One cherub plays a lyre, the second the Pan pipes, the third another stringed instrument. The carver made use of the natural orange coloration of the agate to depict the movement of the sea and the waves.
The stone is set in a reeded setting with bifurcated shoulders, a simple style that was very popular during the Neoclassical period, and indicates that this was probably a gentleman’s ring. Both the setting and the intaglio date to the late 18th century or very early 19th century. Three Italian hallmarks, one is identifiable as the mark for 18k gold, in use up to 1815, after which it was eradicated.
Its size and simplicity make it timeless and wearable. The stone is delicate, and therefor care should be taken when wearing this ring. Condition: Some light scratches on the surface of the stone visible under 10x magnification
Size 7 ½ US
Dimensions: the setting measures 17mm x 14mm
Gross weight: 2.3 grams
For a similar ring, see #1263 in Anna Chadour’s fabulous two volume book “The Koch Collection of Rings”, copyright 1994.
Provenance: from a sale of an important collection of rings, Sotheby’s, “Important Silver, Gold Boxes and Objets de Vertu”, London, June 7, 2007