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Home > Auctions > 21st February 2023 > Baroque Gold, Ruby and Enamel Ring

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LOT 0344

GBP (£) 20,000 - 30,000
EUR (€) 22,620 - 33,930
USD ($) 24,640 - 36,970

Opening Bid
£16,200 (EUR 18,323; USD 19,961) (+bp*)

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Bid History: 0

CIRCA 1620-1640 A.D.
1 in. (4.57 grams, 23.32 mm overall, 18.77 mm internal diameter (approximate size British O, USA 7, Europe 14.98, Japan 14)).

A gold ring composed of a slender hoop, expanding shoulders decorated with white enamelled foliage and black enamelled pea-pod ornament, repeated around the bezel, bezel with box setting holding a table-cut ruby, white and black enamelled floral design to the underside; minor loss of enamel; likely from France; accompanied by a 'Les Enluminures' hinged presentation box.

Acquired from Les Enluminures Ltd, Illinois, USA, 2016.
Property of an East Sussex collector.

Accompanied by a Les Enluminures certificate of authenticity.
Accompanied by a copy of the Les Enluminures invoice.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate no.11671-197579.

Cf. Fuhring, P. ed., 'Le Style' cosse de pois' L'orfevrene et la gravure a Paris sous Louis XIII, in Cazette des Beaux Arts, January 2002, for the pea-pod ornament; cf. Chadour, A., Rings. The Alice and Louis Koch Collection, Leeds, 1994, vol. 1, no.701; cf. Oman, C., British Rings 800-1914, London, 1987, pl.96.c, for type; cf. Scarisbrick, D. et al., Toward an Art History of Medieval Rings: A private Collection, pp.204-205, for comparable.

Over the centuries, the ruby became a symbol of the amorous heart and a popular gemstone for betrothal or wedding rings in Western Europe. This gemstone was believed to symbolise the virtues of marriage and convey the desire for eternal matrimonial love. The ruby-red colour was often enhanced by setting the stone on top of a foil. The stones themselves were imported from as far afield as Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka. Old inventories record them as 'balas rubies', which were sourced to decorate royal crowns. In the 17th century, the red colour was set-off by the pastel shades of satin which were fashionable in dress at the court of King Louis VIII, where the art of enamelling was also practiced.