Mysterious eye

Fancy retro ring with sapphire & diamonds in gold, around 1940

The present ring from around 1940 appears like a blue eye. The oval ring head presents a luminous triumvirate of shimmering gemstones: At its center shines a wonderful natural sapphire in a slightly oval faceted cut. Its shape and intense blue color make it appear like the iris of the eye. On either side, two white old-cut diamonds flank the colored gemstone, making the illusion perfect. The yellow gold ring head frames the stones with expressive fluting, suggesting eyelashes. Its unusual shape reveals the influence of Surrealist art, a movement that flourished from the 1920s onwards. Eyes, as mirrors of the soul and the subconscious, were among the most popular motifs and can be found in the most imaginative variations in the work of Salvador Dalí, for example. In the 1940s, Dalí even created a piece in the United States called "The Eye of Time", which elevates the eye to a piece of jewelry. The ring is perfectly preserved and a true testament to its time, which also looks stunning worn!

A special current within the art of the turn of the century was the so-called Symbolism. Formally closely related to Art Nouveau, it was mainly Belgian artists such as Fernand Khnopff or Félicien Rops who shaped this style, but artists from France such as Gustave Moreau or Odilon Redon and Germany such as Max Klinger also created works that can be assigned to Symbolism. What the paintings, prints, drawings and jewellery designs of this period have in common is that at first glance the designs are often disconcerting or even repulsive, as there was a preference for enigmatic and unusual motifs. Snakes, beetles, skulls and apathetic looking faces populated the canvases to make the viewer think about life, religion, metyphysics and the nature of nature, true to the core sentence of the so-called Symbolist Manifesto of 1886: "The essential characteristic of Symbolist art is never to fix an idea conceptually or to express it directly".

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.