The Art of Granulation

Vintage Ring With Verneuil Ruby & Cultured Pearls in Granulated Gold, Germany, 1950s

Granulation is an ancient discipline of goldsmithing that originated with the ancient Etruscans. The smallest gold beads are soldered onto a precious metal in such a way that they are only connected to each other at their respective tiny points of contact. Light and shadow on the surfaces thus granulated create a sculptural effect, and this is precisely what makes granulation work so appealing. The difficulty with this technique is to precisely match the melting point of the gold, because if the granulation balls get just a tiny bit too hot, the work immediately melts away. In the mid-19th century, the goldsmith Castellani brought this ancient technique back to life, which is why we know it sufficiently from Victorian-era jewellery. What is less well known, however, is that granulation experienced a renewed renaissance in 20th century Germany. How did this come about? In 1918, art historian Marc Rosenberg published History of Goldsmithing on a Technical Basis - inspiring the goldsmiths among his readership to experiment. Johann Michael Wilm from Munich and also Elisabeth Treskow succeeded in producing fine pieces of jewellery with granulation even before the war. After the war, at the latest, the technique had matured to such an extent that it was even possible to order granulated pieces from jewellery catalogues. This ring dates from that time. Designed as a bombé ring, it offers a large surface structured with wave-like granulations. The work is of high precision and delicacy. Then, in the center of the design, two other modernist achievements shine: two large cultured pearls and a bright pink-red Verneuil ruby. Auguste Verneuil had succeeded in producing synthetic rubies towards the end of the 19th century - subsequently they became a great fashion, as they were of particularly intense colour and clarity. The ring is beautifully preserved. According to its workmanship and hallmarking, it was made in Germany.

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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.