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

Ring

C. 1760-1800
Artist/Maker

This ring is similar in design to mourning rings set with panels of plaited hair but it is probably a decorative or sentimental ring. Hair was widely exchanged between friends in life and was accounted a personal and touching gift. The bezel may have begun life as a bracelet or slide and have had the hoop added at a later date.

The tiny gold stars are reminiscent of the fashion for rings with a blue enamel ground and a scatter of small diamonds. In 1778, the long awaited news of the pregnancy of French queen Marie Antoinette was marked by rings 'au firmament' with diamonds scattered like stars in the midnight sky on a dark blue ground, and the birth of her first son in 1781 by 'bagues a l'enfantement' centered on a large diamond.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Ring
  • Case
Materials and Techniques
Gold, glass, chrysoberyls and hair
Brief Description
Gold ring with a pointed oval bezel of chrysoberyls set around a panel of plaited hair with 8 small gold stars. Late 18th century.

Physical Description
Gold ring with a pointed oval bezel of chrysoberyls set around a panel of plaited hair with 8 small gold stars. Possibly modified from a slide.
Marks and Inscriptions
Unmarked
Credit line
Given by Sir C. Dilke, M.P.
Object history
Acquired with a set of jewels consisting of a breast ornament, a pair of earrings and a ring. Possibly Portuguese.
Summary
This ring is similar in design to mourning rings set with panels of plaited hair but it is probably a decorative or sentimental ring. Hair was widely exchanged between friends in life and was accounted a personal and touching gift. The bezel may have begun life as a bracelet or slide and have had the hoop added at a later date.



The tiny gold stars are reminiscent of the fashion for rings with a blue enamel ground and a scatter of small diamonds. In 1778, the long awaited news of the pregnancy of French queen Marie Antoinette was marked by rings 'au firmament' with diamonds scattered like stars in the midnight sky on a dark blue ground, and the birth of her first son in 1781 by 'bagues a l'enfantement' centered on a large diamond.
Associated Object
Collection
Accession Number
1538C-1904

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record createdFebruary 1, 2011
Record URL