Good morning, my darlings!
We’re going deep into the world of antique jewelry today: it’ll involve facts and dates and everything.
As you know, I had the pleasure of attending the Jewelry History Series at the Miami Beach Antique Show back in January. One of my favorite parts was Emily Stoehrer’s presentation, “Castellini to Cartier: Historically Inspired Jewelry.” I was familiar with the concept of revival jewelry – designs that borrow from the style of an earlier era – but seeing the different examples of revival trends throughout history (like the Victorian and Art Deco era’s love for Egyptian motifs) was fascinating.
I was delighted when, while walking the show floor two days later, I found a perfect example of revival jewelry in two rings that Roy Rover showed me at his booth: one a Renaissance revival ring, one an actual Renaissance era piece. It was also a mark of RR’s supreme excellence that he greeted me, said “I know what you’ll like,” and handed these two killer pieces right over.
Let’s take a look, and I’ll show you what I mean.
This incredible piece is the Renaissance era ring. It dates to the year 1590. And I held it in my hand. Me, holding a ring from 1590. My job is the coolest ever.
(In the antique jewelry community of Instagram, the technical term for this view is the “ring butt.”)
The ring features a ruby – deliciously lumpy, as the whole piece is understandably worn by time – in a gold setting.
The setting was once adorned with black and white enamel, but only traces of the enamel remains today. The use of contrasting enamels to product a lush visual effect was common in Renaissance jewelry.
Traces of the black and white enamel and the underlying design in gold remain, especially in corners of the ring more protected from daily wear, like this corner of the ruby’s setting. (Ignore the red, it’s reflected from my dress.)
These details remain, even though this ring is 500 years old. Tell me that’s not the world’s coolest thing.