Since the days of Ancient Rome, rings have been adapted to be not just decorative objects, but also useful ones. Sometimes they are also lockets (to hold poison as well as mementos), or they are watches, or as in the case of this ring, they are also keys. Since the ring is worn on the hand, the secret folding key remains as close to the owner as is possible and is always conveniently available when needed. The key would have opened a small box used to hold jewelry, money, or other valuables. The face of the ring features a heraldic antelope encircled by a garter and the motto "Data Fata Secutas" or "Following what is decreed by fate".More hidden treasure this way>>
Georgian memorial rings in this style typically feature the words "In Memory Of" on the outside of the hoop. This ring, however, has the very unusual phrase "Thou God Seeth Me" rendered in champlevé enamel. The interior is engraved with the details of the deceased: "J H Clewlow died 8 May 1813". It's hallmarked for London 1813 and stamped with the makers mark of Samuel Godbehere.To seeth more, click here.
Corundum is an allochromatic mineral that we know by its two highly prized varieties, sapphire and ruby. "Allochromatic" means that in it's purest form it is colorless, but the introduction of trace elements (also known as impurities) will cause it to take on just about any color in the rainbow. Sapphire can be yellow, orange, violet, pink, etc. The only color sapphire can NOT be is red - when corundum is red we call it "ruby". The impurity that gives both the ruby and the sapphire their respective red and pink hues is chromium. Prior to the 20th century, pink was thought of as light red and the pink sapphire would have still been classified as a ruby, just a lighter one. Sometimes gender was used to explain the difference in color, so a pink corundum would have been called a "female ruby" and a red corundum, a "male ruby". These incredible enameled floral earrings feature pink and red corundum in rubover settings and date to the 17th century. Originally part of some larger piece of jewelry, they were converted into earrings at some point in history.The oldest earrings in our collection.