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Ring

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1901 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lethaby, W. R., born 1857 - died 1931 (designer)
    Wilson, Henry, born 1864 - died 1934 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold with an amethyst, emerald, sapphires and rubies

  • Credit Line:

    Given by M. Crosby

  • Museum number:

    M.6-1934

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 30, shelf A, box 3

This ring was designed by the architect William Richard Lethaby (1857-1901), one of the founders of the Art Workers Guild as a wedding gift for his wife Edith Crosby (1850-1927). Lethaby met Edith Rutgers Crosby in 1893 during a visit to Constantinople, where he is said to have borrowed clothing from her and her sister to overcome the restrictions on foreign men visiting the Sancta Sophia church. Their marriage took place in 1901 due to the objections of Edith's mother and they set up home together in London. Edith and William were buried together in the churchyard of St Mary's, Hartley Wintney in Hampshire with the epitaph 'Love & Labour are all'.

It was made by the renowed Arts and Crafts jeweller Henry Wilson (1864-1934). Wilson was a trained architect who also worked on visionary church decoration schemes, metalwork, jewellery and lecturing. He taught metalwork at the Central School of Arts & Crafts from 1896 & the Royal College of Art from 1901. His definitive textbook ‘Silverwork & Jewellery’ was published in 1903. Wilson and W.R. Lethaby worked together on the scheme for Liverpool Cathedral in 1902.

The design for the ring was inspired by a medieval cathedral. A note from Lethaby on a drawing of the ring in the V&A collection is annotated 'Dear Wilson mine, Thinkst this could be doed at a 'not prohibitory?' and suggested parts of the ring which could be 'embigged'.

Physical description

Gold ring, with a bezel in the form of a facade of a church, set with an amethyst, an emerald and a sapphire, with a sapphire flanked by rubies below, the hoop struck with Henry Wilson's monogram

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1901 (made)

Artist/maker

Lethaby, W. R., born 1857 - died 1931 (designer)
Wilson, Henry, born 1864 - died 1934 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gold with an amethyst, emerald, sapphires and rubies

Marks and inscriptions

monogram
Maker's monogram for Henry Wilson

Dimensions

Height: 2 cm, Width: 1.9 cm, Depth: 1.4 cm

Object history note

Two drawings of this ring, annotated by both designer and maker are in the V&A Print Room

Descriptive line

Gold ring, with a bezel in the form of a facade of a church, set with an amethyst, an emerald and a sapphire, with a sapphire flanked by rubies below, designed by W R Lethaby and made by Henry Wilson, London, 1901

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Church, Rachel, Rings, London, V&A Publishing/ Thames and Hudson, 2017, fig. 123, p.101
Rubens, Godfrey; William Richard Lethaby: His Life and Work 1857–1931, London, 1986

Materials

Gold; Emerald; Sapphire; Ruby; Amethyst

Subjects depicted

Church; Marriage

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Marriage; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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