Et in Arcadia Ego

Unusual intaglio ring with nephrite jade, Vienna circa 1930

The ring presented here, which was made in Vienna and which we also discovered there, features an oval-cut panel of green jade in its rectangular ring face, elaborately engraved and depicting an idyllic scene as an intaglio. Depicted is a shepherd with a jumping dog in an implied wide landscape with a tree. The shepherd has a sheepskin coat wrapped around his shoulders. Since ancient times, people have dreamed of a light, carefree life in the countryside, as a carefree shepherd or cheerful shepherdess. Romantically transfigured, the world of simple country folk seemed to them a natural antithesis to life in the city with its intrigues and strict corset of rules. In order to be able to live out this fantasy in a manner befitting one's station, people in the past often resorted to the most expensive means. The Count of Brühl, for example, had a precious centrepiece in the shape of a village made from Meissen porcelain. Marie Antoinette even had a real village built in her garden, complete with peasants - specially hired to assist the queen in her pastoral play on informal days. Of course, however, the interiors of the idyllic farmhouses were luxuriously appointed. And here, too, in the present ring the fantasy of the shepherd's life comes alive only set in gold. The intaglio is probably based on models from classical antiquity. The present gem ring, created in the years around 1930, is beautifully preserved and offers its wearer a short break - far away from the grey of everyday life.

Jade is one of the most desirable gemstones in China. It is believed here that jade brings health, success and a long life in harmony with nature - it is not uncommon for jade to be weighed out with gold. A life without a piece of jade jewellery is still unthinkable in large parts of the Chinese population. Jade is supposed to convey the feeling of balance in life, as well as bring harmony, beauty and happiness into the consciousness of the wearer.

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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.

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.