Judgment with consequences

Signet ring with classicist intaglio of Paris in gold, around 1800/2020

Sometimes it is small things that determine the course of history for a long time. An example of such a momentous decision, which might seem like a game at first, is the judgment of Paris, known from antiquity. The youth Paris was supposed to pass a judgment. Which of the three goddesses Aphrodite, Athena or Hera was the most beautiful. Zeus, as the supreme Olympian, had pulled out of the affair and placed the judgment in the hands of the mortal. With terrible consequences. For in order to win the prince over, each of the goddesses tries to bribe him. Hera promises him dominion over the world, Athena promises wisdom, Aphrodite, on the other hand, offers Paris the love of the most beautiful woman of mankind. With this reward, Aphrodite was able to win the judgment, passion triumphed over wisdom and power. But to what end! The most beautiful mortal, Helen, was already married to Menelaus, the powerful king of Sparta. The therefore necessary robbery of Helen then triggered the Trojan War. The ring here, made of gold, bears an intaglio showing Paris. The young man sits pensively on a tree stump. In his hand he carries the apple that was offered as a prize for the victor. The fate of the world is not yet decided, wisdom could still win. If only Paris had known the consequences of his decision! The intaglio comes from an extensive collection of antique cameos that we were able to buy in Cologne. It was set with other cameos in a bracelet from around 1800. The other cameos were mostly Roman antique. With this stone, dating is a bit more difficult, as the depiction of Paris sitting appears to be very influenced by early modern art. It was probably created in the period immediately before 1800. Since the bracelet was no longer wearable, we recut the stone and made it wearable as a ring Our goldsmith made a solid band ring of high karat gold for it. So the ring can now be worn by ladies and gentlemen alike. We are happy to adjust the ring width accordingly.

To possess antique cameos and cameos was the claim of almost all great collections for centuries: We find spectacular pieces as well in the Green Vault in Dresden, in the treasury of Rudolf II, up to the great private collections like that of Baron Stosch in later times. The 18th and 19th centuries produced numerous large imprint collections of antique seal stones and cameos, which represent the antique imagery of glyptic almost in its entirety. Thus, they were not least an expression of a humanistic education. Of particular importance for the transmission of stone and shell carvings north of the Alps have always been travelers to Italy, who brought home imprints and carved stones as well as engraved shells from their educational journeys to enjoy the stories that the shells could tell. The art of cameo cutter has survived to this day in Italy, especially in the Bay of Naples, where it has been passed down from generation to generation. Today the Scuola dei Cammei in Torre del Greco is the only professional training center for cameo cutters in the world, but unfortunately the mythological theme world as a subject has been almost completely lost.

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.