We are thrilled to offer this fantastic antique poison ring.
It?s made of exquisite 14 karat yellow gold and is a stellar example of Victorian design.
Part of what makes this ring such so extraordinary is the fantastic mystery it inspires.
At first glance, it looks like a simple signet ring, but actually features a tiny compartment underneath the face.
Sometimes called a 'pillbox' ring, poison rings have been in use for centuries.
They were often used to carry perfume, locks of hair, devotional relics or other keepsakes.
It would be their association with famous murderess Lucrezia Borgia that would gain the rings a reputation as instruments of deceit.
The rectangular cartouche at the top of the ring acts as a lid for the 'poison' compartment; it lifts open on a tiny hinge and also closes securely with a minuscule interior clasp.
The lid is embellished on the sides with tiny hand-engraved foliate-scroll decoration.
The stepped upper-shanks are also decorated with elegant engravings.
The ring exhibits a single maker's mark stamped on the exterior of the compartment on one side.
This mark (a tiny oak leaf) is the oldest of its kind. The 'oak leaf' mark was instituted in the Netherlands in the mid 19th-century and was used only to mark 14 karat gold.
This mark dates from 1852 to 1906.
The ring has been professionally tested to ensure the purity of the gold.
There are a few tiny surface scratches on the face and sides but little to no darkening.
Overall, the ring remains in very good antique condition.
It?s a beautiful representation of the style of the era.
Measurements: Size: 11 " 'Poison' chamber is 11mm long, 7mm wide and approx. 2 ?mm deep, Upper shanks are 6 ?mm wide, Lower band is 2mm wide, Ring rises 2 ?mm from finger at top Weight: 2.0 grams (0.07 oz.)