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

Ring

ca. 1786 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Rings set with portrait miniatures of the sovereign were popular and widely distributed. The most expensive included finely painted miniatures, gemstones or carved cameos or intaglios but cheaper alternatives were made for a wider market.

James Tassie (1735-99) and the chemist Dr Quinn developed a glass paste that could successfully imitate antique cameos and was also used to create modern gems. The portrait of George, Prince of Wales, has the fine detailing and appearance of a cameo but at the lower cost of a Tassie paste.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold set with a paste cameo
Brief Description
Gold ring, the oval bezel set with a Tassie paste cameo of George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV, England, about 1786.
Physical Description
Gold ring, the oval bezel set with a Tassie paste cameo of George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV
Dimensions
  • Height: 2.3cm
  • Width: 1.9cm
  • Depth: 2.6cm
Credit line
Given by Dame Joan Evans
Object history
Formerly part of the collection of Dame Joan Evans (1893-1977), art historian and collector. Early on she collected gems and jewels which resulted in the 1921 book, English Jewellery from the 5th Century BC to 1800. Her scholarly interest was established in 1925 by the book Life in Mediaeval France. In 1931 she used her research in adornment to write Pattern: a Study of Ornament in Western Europe from 1180 to 1900. That same year she was named honorary librarian of the Courtauld Institute, London. Evans produced the second of her studies of French medieval life in 1936, Monastic Life at Cluny, 930–1157, followed by Taste and Temperament (1939), Art in Mediaeval France (1948), English Art, 1307–1461(1949), Cluniac Art of the Romanesque Period (1950), and Dress in Mediaeval France (1952). These were interspersed by histories of more contemporary subjects, such as her biography of Chateaubriand in 1939, Madame de Sérilly in 1946, and Joseph Joubert, published in 1947. In 1943 she published a family memoir, Time and Chance: the Story of Arthur Evans and his Forebears. After a biography of John Ruskin in 1954, she co-edited with John Howard Whitehead, Ruskin's diaries in 1956. Evans was elected the first woman president of the Society of Antiquaries in 1959 (through 1964). She donated her gem and jewellery collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum beginning in 1960. She was a trustee of the British Museum (1963-67). In her personal life, she donated time and money to many charitable historic causes, nearly all of them anonymously. Her will left collections to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the Birmingham City Art Gallery.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Rings set with portrait miniatures of the sovereign were popular and widely distributed. The most expensive included finely painted miniatures, gemstones or carved cameos or intaglios but cheaper alternatives were made for a wider market.



James Tassie (1735-99) and the chemist Dr Quinn developed a glass paste that could successfully imitate antique cameos and was also used to create modern gems. The portrait of George, Prince of Wales, has the fine detailing and appearance of a cameo but at the lower cost of a Tassie paste.
Collection
Accession Number
M.55-1950

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record createdJuly 17, 2006
Record URL