Ring thumbnail 1
Ring thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Ring

1787 (dated)
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 bezel is set with a panel showing two doves on an urn-shaped basin under the inscription 'Amitié' or friendship. The three dimensional design of the urn is created with chopped hair, decorated with tiny half-pearls. The reverse of the bezel shows the initials SS and JLH with the date 1787, commemorating the moment when the ring was given.

Similar designs for rings can be found in Garnett Terry's 1795 'Book of New and Allegorical Devices, for Artists in General, and Particularly for Jewellers, Enamel painter, Pattern Drawers &c'. Doves were associated with love because they were said to accompany the Roman goddess of love, Venus. The image of doves drinking from a basin also gained popularity with the rediscovery of the mosaic panel known as the 'Capitoline doves' or the 'Doves of Pliny' in 1737 when the Emperor Hadrian's villa was excavated at Tivoli.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold ring set with hair and pearls
Brief Description
Gold ring set with pearls with a composition in hair of two doves perched on an urn, set with half-pearls, possibly England, dated 1787
Physical Description
Gold ring set with pearls. A marquise bezel with a composition in hair of two doves perched on an urn, set with half-pearls, below the inscription 'AMITIÉ', with a crystal cover. On the reverse is inscribed 'SS/JLH' in monogram and '1787'. The pearls appear at least in part to be artificial.
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.3cm
  • Width: 2cm
  • Depth: 2.7cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • inscribed 'AMITIÉ'
  • inscribed 'SS/JLH' in monogram and '1787' (On the reverse)
  • 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 bezel is set with a panel showing two doves on an urn-shaped basin under the inscription 'Amitié' or friendship. The three dimensional design of the urn is created with chopped hair, decorated with tiny half-pearls. The reverse of the bezel shows the initials SS and JLH with the date 1787, commemorating the moment when the ring was given.



Similar designs for rings can be found in Garnett Terry's 1795 'Book of New and Allegorical Devices, for Artists in General, and Particularly for Jewellers, Enamel painter, Pattern Drawers &c'. Doves were associated with love because they were said to accompany the Roman goddess of love, Venus. The image of doves drinking from a basin also gained popularity with the rediscovery of the mosaic panel known as the 'Capitoline doves' or the 'Doves of Pliny' in 1737 when the Emperor Hadrian's villa was excavated at Tivoli.
Bibliographic Reference
Oman, Charles, Catalogue of rings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1930, reprinted Ipswich, 1993, cat. 858
Collection
Accession Number
856-1888

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 14, 2005
Record URL