Roman Elegies

Antique ring with aquamarine in gold, Germany circa 2000

This modern, hand-forged ring sets a large cabochon-cut aquamarine in high karat gold. Its design is reminiscent of finger rings from Roman antiquity. The light blue gemstone is set across the finger in a simple frame that merges into the solidly cast ring - just as if it were a piece of jewellery with 2000 years of history. As early as the 19th century, goldsmiths drew their inspiration from antique finds. Especially in Rome, the "Eternal City", a completely new fashion emerged in the middle of the 19th century: goldsmiths such as the masters of the Castellani family created - for the first time in the history of modern times - objects in the style of antiquity, based on precious models from Etruscan tombs and ancient Rome, which thus made the jewellery and beauty of antiquity very tangible for the ladies. This jewellery in the so-called archaeological style was a great success, it was considered patriotic and modern at the same time, it was contemporary and referred to one's own history and great cultural tradition, of which one was the heir. The unique ring presented here is also firmly rooted in the formal language of classical antiquity, despite all the modernity that the simple design radiates - its material is a joy to wear, its weight alone of more than 22 grams makes it feel pleasant to wear, and the beautiful aquamarine with its calm inclusion invites you to dream.

Until the beginning of the 19th century, the forms of truly ancient jewellery were still unknown. Neither in the Renaissance nor in Classicism had excavations produced genuine jewellery of the ancients. The designs of these epochs had merely been approximations to an ideal that had to be derived from other contexts such as architecture. This changed abruptly with the discovery of genuine Etruscan jewelry beginning in the 1820s in Italy. Princess Alexandrine of Canino, for example, was known to enjoy wearing some original Etruscan jewelry found at her country estate near Rome, to the envy of her friends. But the number of pieces, which were all chance finds, remained small and only a fraction of the ladies could still own original, millennia-old Etruscan jewellery. Therefore, the goldsmiths of those years soon began to produce pieces of jewellery according to ancient forms that were now finally known. Especially Pio Castellani from Rome and his sons excelled in this field and designed jewellery which became a well-known trademark and a true fashion all over Europe from the middle of the century on. In Germany and Austria, corresponding pieces were created from the mid-1860s onwards. On the Castellani jewellery, see in detail Susan Weber Soros/Stefani Walker (eds.): Castallani and Italian Archaeological Jewelry, New Haven/London 2004.

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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.

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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.