Not currently on display at the V&A

Ring

1775-1785 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The design of this ring owes much to the tradition of mourning rings but it was probably a gift of love or friendship. The navette shaped bezel is set with a panel of plaited hair, on which the design of a dove perched on a branch with an olive twig in its beak can be seen. The image is made out of tiny seed pearls, symbolising purity and love. The plaited hair shows that it was a personal gift - cut hair was used both in love and mourning jewellery. The dove holding an olive branch alludes to the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark. After the flood, Noah sent a dove to find any land above water. When the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak, Noah was able to find land and begin to rebuild society. The dove and olive branch has been considered a symbol of peace and hope since the early Christians.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold ring set with seed pearls and hair
Brief Description
Gold ring set with pearls with a composition in seed pearls of a dove bearing an olive branch, set over a panel of plaited hair. Western Europe, 1775-85
Physical Description
Gold ring with a pointed oval (marquise) shaped bezel with a composition in seed pearls of a dove bearing an olive branch, perched on a tree. The scene is set over plaited hair, under a rock crystal cover
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.4cm
  • Width: 2.1cm
  • Depth: 3.1cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Unmarked
Object history
Part of a group of memorial and mourning jewels bought from Dr Marco Guastalla, acting on behalf of 'an English lady residing in Italy' (museum numbers 846-1888 to 989-1888)
Subjects depicted
Summary
The design of this ring owes much to the tradition of mourning rings but it was probably a gift of love or friendship. The navette shaped bezel is set with a panel of plaited hair, on which the design of a dove perched on a branch with an olive twig in its beak can be seen. The image is made out of tiny seed pearls, symbolising purity and love. The plaited hair shows that it was a personal gift - cut hair was used both in love and mourning jewellery. The dove holding an olive branch alludes to the Biblical story of Noah and his Ark. After the flood, Noah sent a dove to find any land above water. When the dove returned with an olive branch in its beak, Noah was able to find land and begin to rebuild society. The dove and olive branch has been considered a symbol of peace and hope since the early Christians.
Bibliographic Reference
Oman, Charles, Catalogue of rings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1930, reprinted Ipswich, 1993, cat. 870
Collection
Accession Number
863-1888

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record createdNovember 14, 2005
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