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Ring

  • Place of origin:

    Europe (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1869 (altered)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Spessartine garnet set in gold with rose-cut diamonds

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Chauncy Hare Townshend

  • Museum number:

    1274-1869

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 50, shelf I, box 88

This ring forms part of a collection of 154 gems and 41 cameos and engraved stones bequeathed to the V&A by the Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend, a cleric and poet. Sir A. H. Church who compiled the first catalogue Precious Stones: A Guide to the Townshend Collection (1883) gave additional specimens in 1913. The stones are mounted as rings, perhaps as a means of display and safekeeping rather than to be worn.
This stone was originally part of the H.P. Hope collection.

Physical description

Ring of spessartine garnet with a border of rose-cut diamonds in a gold setting.

Place of Origin

Europe (made)

Date

1800-1869 (altered)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Spessartine garnet set in gold with rose-cut diamonds

Dimensions

Height: 2.2 cm, Width: 2 cm, Depth: 1.6 cm

Object history note

The Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend bequeathed his important collection of 154 gems to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1869. Although the collection is not as comprehensive as that found at the Natural History Museum, it is of particular historic interest as its formation pre-dates the development of many synthetic gemstones and artificial enhancements. All the stones were mounted as rings before they came to the Museum, mainly in a series of standardised gold settings, often of the coronet or galleried type. However, several specimens are set with greater elaboration, with diamond borders surrounding the central stone. Some of these were originally in the possession of Henry Philip Hope (d.1839), a brother of the novelist and antiquary Thomas Hope (c. 1770-1831). H.P. Hope formed a famous collection of diamonds and precious stones which was largely inherited by his three nephews. His collection, which included the Hope blue diamond, now in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, was catalogued by B. Hertz in 1839.
Townshend is recorded as having made purchases from it and his acquisitions are noted below. He also seems to have remounted several of his purchases, in whole or in part.

Descriptive line

Ring, spessartine garnet with a border of rose-cut diamonds in a gold setting, probably reset in the mid nineteenth century, made in Europe

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

Sir A H Church, Precious Stones: A Guide to the Townshend Collection, 1883
Clare Phillips, Jewels and Jewellery, V&A Publications 2000.

Production Note

The garnet is from the HP Hope collection but was probably reset by Townshend in the mid nineteenth century.

Materials

Gold; Garnet; Diamond

Techniques

Lapidary

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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