A very rare early Georgian fede ring with two clasped hands that pull apart revealing a third ring with conjoined hearts with flames above. One hand is set with a foiled ruby, the other with a foiled emerald. The hoops are decorated with a cross hatch and dot pattern.
Two hands together, either clasped or holding a heart, symbolizing friendship, constancy, agreement and fidelity became an iconic symbol in rings starting in ancient Rome, continuing through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance through the Baroque period. The fashion for having two hands holding a gemstone, usually a diamond, began during the Renaissance, during which the hands were often enameled white. In the 18th century the diamond was often set in a heart shaped bezel with an eternal flame above.
Good condition, the stones show some light abrasions consistent with age; the thumb of the hand with the emerald is missing. Note that while this ring is in good condition it is nonetheless delicate. Care should be taken when wearing it, and when opening and closing the rings. Although it is tempting to purchase a Georgian ring as an engagement ring, it can not stand up to daily wear, and this should be kept in mind. However, it can be worn and enjoyed under circumstances that constitute “light wear”.
A very similar ring is pictured on page 134 of Dawes/Collings iconic book on Georgian jewelry.
Hallmarks: French assay mark for 14k
Gross weight: 3.8 grams
Size 7 US, due to the construction of this ring, sizing is not possible