Ring thumbnail 1
Ring thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Ring

1800-50 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The clasped hands on the bezel of this ring show that it is a fede ring. This type of ring was known in Roman times and has been used in Europe from the medieval period until the nineteenth century. The expression fede or mani in fede is taken from the Italian, meaning 'hands clasped in trust' and was often used on love gifts and marriage rings. In 16th and 17th century England, these rings were also known as 'hand in hand', such as the ring left by Johan Broucker to her sister in 1577, described as a 'ringe of golde with an hande in hande'

The hoop of this ring can be divided into two interlocked circles. Rings made in this way are called gimmel rings, from the Latin word for twin. These rings were especially popular as love gifts, the join of the hoops symbolising the bond between lovers. These rings continued to be made into the 19th century, the hoops on later rings are typically joined by a small pin rather than intertwined.

This ring forms part of a collection of 760 rings and engraved gems from the collection of Edmund Waterton (1830-87). Waterton was one of the foremost ring collectors of the nineteenth century and was the author of several articles on rings, a book on English devotion to the Virgin Mary and an unfinished catalogue of his collection (the manuscript is now the National Art Library). Waterton was noted for his extravagance and financial troubles caused him to place his collection in pawn with the London jeweller Robert Phillips. When he was unable to repay the loan, Phillips offered to sell the collection to the Museum and it was acquired in 1871. A small group of rings which Waterton had held back were acquired in 1899.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold
Brief Description
Gold gimmel fede ring, Western Europe, 1800-50.
Physical Description
Gold gimmel fede ring with three pivoted hoops, joined by a small pin. The middle hoop, with milled edges is set with two conjoined hearts, the others with clasped hands masking the hearts.
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.5cm
  • Width: 3cm
  • Depth: 0.6cm
Object history
ex Waterton Collection
Subjects depicted
Summary
The clasped hands on the bezel of this ring show that it is a fede ring. This type of ring was known in Roman times and has been used in Europe from the medieval period until the nineteenth century. The expression fede or mani in fede is taken from the Italian, meaning 'hands clasped in trust' and was often used on love gifts and marriage rings. In 16th and 17th century England, these rings were also known as 'hand in hand', such as the ring left by Johan Broucker to her sister in 1577, described as a 'ringe of golde with an hande in hande'



The hoop of this ring can be divided into two interlocked circles. Rings made in this way are called gimmel rings, from the Latin word for twin. These rings were especially popular as love gifts, the join of the hoops symbolising the bond between lovers. These rings continued to be made into the 19th century, the hoops on later rings are typically joined by a small pin rather than intertwined.



This ring forms part of a collection of 760 rings and engraved gems from the collection of Edmund Waterton (1830-87). Waterton was one of the foremost ring collectors of the nineteenth century and was the author of several articles on rings, a book on English devotion to the Virgin Mary and an unfinished catalogue of his collection (the manuscript is now the National Art Library). Waterton was noted for his extravagance and financial troubles caused him to place his collection in pawn with the London jeweller Robert Phillips. When he was unable to repay the loan, Phillips offered to sell the collection to the Museum and it was acquired in 1871. A small group of rings which Waterton had held back were acquired in 1899.
Collection
Accession Number
859-1871

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record createdNovember 16, 2005
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