Man's best friend

Witty Victorian Gold Ring with Cameo in Tiger Eye: A Monkey Terrier, circa 1890

Who could resist the loyal look of a friendly dog? Almost everyone who has ever looked into the eyes of one of these four-legged friends knows how quickly these loyal companions can conquer a place in our hearts. We too have a soft spot for dogs - and so it's no surprise that this ring is one of our favourites. In the center of the ring occupies the friendly little face of a dog, cut from a tiger's eye. The stone cutter has masterfully succeeded in capturing the physiognomy and, above all, the attentive character of the animal. The dog's eyes sparkle in red gemstones. The little companion confronts us in astonishing three-dimensionality and sparkles in the play of light and shadow of the tiger's eye. The face of a monkey terrier is depicted. This dog breed has become rare today, last year only 36 puppies were born in Germany. Thereby Affenpinscher is one of the oldest, until today unchanged preserved breeding breeds of the world. It was originally bred for hunting mice and early depictions can already be found by Albrecht Dürer and also in the "Arnolfini Wedding" by Jan van Eyck. The ring was created in the years around 1890 in the course of the so-called "Novelty Jewellery" fashion in England and probably began its life as a stick pin. In later times a band was added to make it wearable as a ring. We discovered this piece of jewellery in Vienna and immediately fell in love...!

In the late 19th century, a new, never-before-seen type of jewellery emerged: so-called "Novelty Jewellery" caused a sensation with new, surprising and previously unthinkable shapes and material combinations: for example, birds suddenly settled on swings and became earrings. Many everyday objects found their way onto the lapels of ladies and gentlemen, such as tennis rackets, golf clubs and stamps, but the technical world also found expression in this fashion. Machines, automobiles in miniature and the new telephone were surprising focal points. The purpose of these pieces was to provide points of contact for conversation in society. At birthday parties, a brooch with the year of birth of the person being celebrated could be a sympathetic gesture; on joint hunting trips, a fox brooch could complement the wardrobe in accordance with the setting. Even skulls glowing from the eyes by batteries were offered to set a macabre, yet cheerful accent at a dinner party. Yet the jewelry was not exclusively costume jewelry. Many pieces were, of course, designed for one-time use and made of inexpensive materials. The ever more advanced industrialization also in the jewelry sector allowed at one time the mass production of gold-plated and also only gold-colored brooches and pendants. But also renowned goldsmiths created small novelty pieces from precious metals, set with precious stones: For the fashion for the curious, surprising and cheerful was alive and well in all strata of society: indeed, the royal family in Great Britain even took a pioneering role here - and with their use of jewels set the standard by which their subjects then wished to be measured. For more on this fascinating topic, see Charlotte Gere / Judy Rudoe: Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria, London 2010, pp. 190-247.

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.