Ruler of the jungle

Massive men's ring with onyx gem & diamonds in gold, circa 1940

The faces of two men are cut into an onyx gem. They are presented to us in profile and are stylized in a historicizing manner: thus they are reminiscent of the portraits of Roman Caesars or athletes as we know them from classical antiquity cut in carnelian. The black gem is embedded in a solid gold ring weighing 45.4 grams. Large, sculptural leaves spring from the wide ring rail on the left and right above a hammered ground. Two snakes with slightly open mouths crawl out of this garden of paradise, their scales carved out in relief. Brilliant-cut diamonds in platinum settings set their heads, while smaller old-cut diamonds form their eyes, from which they warily guard the gem. Although the ring is quite unusual and was undoubtedly created as a unique commission, some details allow us to narrow down its age: for example, the ring is made of slightly reddish gold to which an additional fine gilding was applied, which was only common until the pre-war period. The combination of brilliant-cut and old-cut diamonds also suggests that the ring was created at the transition between these two cuts - the more modern cut was chosen for the larger stones. Last but not least, the 1930s and 1940s favoured particularly voluminous pieces of gold jewellery. The neo-classical gem also fits stylistically into this period. This extraordinary ring has been excellently preserved. Today, as 80 years ago, it is an expressive statement piece.

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.


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.