Souvenir d'Amour

Romantic ring with garnets & hair under rock crystal, around 1780 & later

"Who has ever loved knows that a lock of hair of a person dear to us, especially if we have lost it, is a part of herself left to us, and to our heart a far more precious jewel than the most beautiful jewel". - This is what the reader could read in the Journal des Luxus und der Moden in March 1791. And in September 1787 it had even been said: "With promises, rings of jewels are no longer exchanged, but an idea or fantaisie in hair cutely executed and lightly set with a row of brilliants, is the whole bridal gift." In the age of sensibility, long before long-distance phone calls or photography entered human life, people exchanged locks of hair among friends and lovers. Often the hair was set as jewelry and could thus be worn close to the body as an intimate souvenir. The present piece of jewelry also bears witness to this. The heart, made towards the end of the 18th century, has the common shape of the time without a notch on the upper edge. At the front and back, an ornament of hair is set under an inlay of polished, slightly curved rock crystal. It is arranged feather-like, to so-called "Prince of Wales Feathers", with overlays of gold wire. Blond hair is set in front, brunette in the back; possibly the hair of the two lovers to whom the heart once served as a souvenir d'amour. On the front, the inlay is also framed by a wreath of foliated table-cut garnets. Presumably, the heart was once a pendant, as this particular type is not known as a ring. The ring rail seems to have been added to the heart in the 19th century, but this was definitely done with sensitivity to the shape; even the reddish gold tone was hit perfectly. We discovered the romantic piece of jewelry as it is in London.

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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