Rococo Revival

Antique ring with white topazes in pink gold & silver, 1890 ca.

Some pieces of jewellery pose riddles even to the trained eye - and thus end up telling particularly exciting stories. At first glance, this ring looks like a piece of 18th-century jewellery. Centrally, it shows a cluster of colourless topazes. These gemstones, originally called "minas novas" in reference to their origin in the Brazilian Minas Gerais, are often found in Rococo jewellery, where they were used instead of diamonds. The stones are set in closed silver and backed with foil, while the ring band is made of rose gold. Below the ring head there is a flower motif, as is also known from Rococo rings. Small details, however, reveal that this is a later creation: For example, the tendrils of the ring shoulders appear somewhat too filigree, and in addition, the ring rail bears a hallmark on the inside that has only been in use since 1854. Also, the floral details of the ring rail and below the ring head are actually from a different decade of the 18th century than the cluster motif of the topazes. The latter is more familiar from men's buttons, which were, however, often reworked into rings in the course of the 19th century. Presumably, a goldsmith of the late 19th century created this ring, following historical models. This is not surprising, because especially in the second half of the century people were infatuated with the past: jewellery was created in the style of Gothic, Antiquity, the Renaissance (the so-called Holbein style) and also the Rococo. This nostalgia was carried to extremes with costume balls. In 1897, for example, the Devonshire House Ball was celebrated, to which the Countess of Warwick appeared as Marie Antoinette. This ball, which celebrated Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, went down in history as the most lavish costume ball of the Victorian era. But jewellery that paid homage to history was not only worn to costume balls, but also in everyday life. Numerous manufacturers shifted almost entirely to making jewelry in certain neo styles. It is not known who made or wore the ring in question - all we know is that the person had a fondness for the then already distant age of the Rococo.

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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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