Bacchanalia

Detailed intaglio ring with figural satyr & nymph, around 1900

The years around 1900 witnessed an increased interest in human psychology. The subliminal, the repressed and the sensual were of the greatest interest in a society shaped by strict corsets of rules - a discourse that took place not only in early psychoanalysis but also in the arts. Satyrs and nymphs - spirits of nature who were not subject to the same etiquette as modern man and who could openly indulge in their desires - became the visual expression of man's subconscious, even animalistic urges. Last but not least, these beings were also known from antiquity as participants in the Dionysia or Bacchanalia, the orgiastic processions of the god of wine and intoxication. The present ring pays homage to this thematic complex in every detail. The starting point of the ring is an intaglio showing a maenad - a cult follower of Bacchus, identified by the staff of Thyrsos in her hand. The intaglio has been cut into a carnelian in the manner of antiquity. To the left and right a buck-legged satyr and a young nymph hold up the ring head like atlases. They each stand on a goat's head. Like satyr and nymph, he-goats accompanied the bacchanalia as important sacrificial animals. Two masks reminiscent of lions' or leopards' heads are attached to the other sides of the ring head, for these cats of prey were sacred to Bacchus. All details are finely rendered in high karat gold and shine particularly velvety due to an additional fine gilding. Its design and theme, as well as its detailed execution, make the ring a true collector's item, the likes of which are rarely seen on the market, as figurative rings from the Art Nouveau period are particularly sought after. The ring is very well preserved. We were able to discover it in England. Once it was imported to Paris - one of the centres of symbolism and art nouveau at that time.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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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