A very fine Swiss gold ring with enamel decoration. The medallion features a woman in traditional Swiss costume against a lavender blue background, the band is decorated with a black and white floral design typical of Swiss enamel jewelry. The front opens to reveal a small compartment. Often referred to incorrectly as “poison rings”, these little compartments were for sentimental purposes – for a lock of hair usually, or other token of esteem.
Early Swiss enamel jewelry has a distinctive look that is different from French enamels of the same period. Usually black and white predominate, embellished with bucolic scenes of Switzerland or women in traditional dress, or floral arrangements in bright colors. Swiss, dating to the 1820s to the 1840s.
Condition: very good, some minor losses to the enamel, particularly at the back of the band. The flowers were enameled white at their centers at one point and much of this enamel has worn away. Some minor dents are visible on the inside of the band.
Size 9 ½ US
Gross weight 3 grams
French assay mark for a minimum of 18k gold
This ring is part of a single collection of fine 18th and 19th century rings in the same collection for nearly a decade.
Provenance: from a sale of an important collection of rings, Sotheby’s, “Important Silver, Gold Boxes and Objets de Vertu”, London, June 7, 2007.
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