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

Ring

1976 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In the 1960s a group of jewellers based in London were in many ways ahead of their time. Working within the mainstream market for precious jewellery, they experimented with contemporary designs and materials. They explored new methods of applying gold and devised unconventional shapes for settings.

For women in high society this jewellery offered a new way of expressing wealth and status. What counted was creative expression and individuality, not big flashy stones and material values. Diamonds were no longer the only gemstone to be a 'girl's best friend'.

John Donald's first professional experience as a jeweller began when he studied at the Royal College of Art (1952-56). The modern movements in architecture, sculpture and paintingled him to see jewellery as a form of art. Jewellery was no longer a decorative accessory, Donald's jewellery developed into abstract sculptural expressions, which he created through innovative explorations of treating metals and integrating asymmetrical natural minerals. He tested the boundaries of heat, and often misused flames to create his trademark visual effects and textured surfaces. The stones in their fine wire settings often appear to float in space.

His career took off in 1960 and in 1961 he showed his work in the groundbreaking International exhibition of Modern Jewellery at Goldsmihts' Hall. By 1964 HRH Princess Margaret and HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother became patrons of his work.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold and baroque pearl
Brief Description
Ring designed and made by John Donald, England 1976, gold and baroque pearls
Physical Description
Ring with a single pearl resting in a curving, tear-drop shaped bezel. The interior of the bezel is matt, the outer edge is polished. The textured surface of the gold extends to the shoulders of the ring
Dimensions
  • Bezel height: 2cm
measured as pinned
Marks and Inscriptions
marks for John Donald, London and 1976
Credit line
Given by Joan Hurst through Art Fund
Summary
In the 1960s a group of jewellers based in London were in many ways ahead of their time. Working within the mainstream market for precious jewellery, they experimented with contemporary designs and materials. They explored new methods of applying gold and devised unconventional shapes for settings.



For women in high society this jewellery offered a new way of expressing wealth and status. What counted was creative expression and individuality, not big flashy stones and material values. Diamonds were no longer the only gemstone to be a 'girl's best friend'.



John Donald's first professional experience as a jeweller began when he studied at the Royal College of Art (1952-56). The modern movements in architecture, sculpture and paintingled him to see jewellery as a form of art. Jewellery was no longer a decorative accessory, Donald's jewellery developed into abstract sculptural expressions, which he created through innovative explorations of treating metals and integrating asymmetrical natural minerals. He tested the boundaries of heat, and often misused flames to create his trademark visual effects and textured surfaces. The stones in their fine wire settings often appear to float in space.



His career took off in 1960 and in 1961 he showed his work in the groundbreaking International exhibition of Modern Jewellery at Goldsmihts' Hall. By 1964 HRH Princess Margaret and HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother became patrons of his work.
Collection
Accession Number
M.17-2006

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record createdJanuary 9, 2008
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