Ring

1730-60 (made)
Ring thumbnail 1
Ring thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Flowers were a fashionable theme in jewellery from about 1750 to 1800. Intricate and colourful rings were known as giardinetti('little garden') or in England, as 'flowerpot'. They had tiny blossoms set with an assortment of precious stones, asymmetrically arranged in a basket, vase or pot. They are characteristic of the light, delicate and sometimes asymmetric rococo style which was fashionable in Europe. The stones could be a mixture of coloured stones to simulate the shades of the flowers or just one stone. It was usual for diamonds to be set in silver at this date so that that the whiteness of the metal enhanced the diamond.

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 and silver, set with rose-cut diamonds, rubies and emeralds
Brief Description
Gold giardinetti ring, with an openwork bezel in the form of a vase of flowers, set with rose-cut diamonds, rubies and emeralds in silver collets, 1730-1760.
Physical Description
Gold giardinetti ring, with an openwork bezel in the form of a vase of flowers, set with rose-cut diamonds, rubies and emeralds in silver collets
Dimensions
  • Bezel height: 1.7cm
  • Bezel width: 1.9cm
Style
Object history
ex Waterton Collection
Subject depicted
Summary
Flowers were a fashionable theme in jewellery from about 1750 to 1800. Intricate and colourful rings were known as giardinetti('little garden') or in England, as 'flowerpot'. They had tiny blossoms set with an assortment of precious stones, asymmetrically arranged in a basket, vase or pot. They are characteristic of the light, delicate and sometimes asymmetric rococo style which was fashionable in Europe. The stones could be a mixture of coloured stones to simulate the shades of the flowers or just one stone. It was usual for diamonds to be set in silver at this date so that that the whiteness of the metal enhanced the diamond.



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.
Bibliographic References
  • Bury, Shirley, Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue (Victoria and Albert Museum, 1982), 34/B/26
  • Oman, Charles, Catalogue of rings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1930, reprinted Ipswich, 1993, p. 75, cat. 350
  • Church, Rachel, Rings, London, V&A Publishing, 2011, p. 60, fig. 70
  • Bury, Shirley, Introduction to Rings, London, 1984, p. 35, cat. 38A
Collection
Accession Number
970-1871

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 createdFebruary 3, 2003
Record URL