Spotlight On: c.1800 Twist Ring

July 2, 2010

One of my favourite periods of jewellery is the Neoclassical transition into the 19th century. The Regency period (1811-20) tends to appropriate this period in concept (the term ‘Regency’ is used quite liberally, just like ‘Georgian’), but the true transition from the big Neoclassical miniatures to the cleaner lines and shape/material based first quarter 19th century pieces began at about the turn of the 19th century.

This ring exemplifies what I mean when I say ‘shape-based’, it has an elegant twist and circular motif to the shank, which has its allusions to the snake and eternity (there are variations with an overt snake used to entwine and create the band itself).

Also note the hatched gold work surrounding the hair memento, something which would become more popular as engine turning in jewellery construction became cheaper/popular.

Advances during the Industrial Revolution created a lot of social transience in jewellery, different classes had access to pieces unlike previously, where it denoted social status in a more prominent way.

Before I ramble on too long, this is a charming little ring and comes from a wonderful period of stylistic experimentation in jewellery!

Year: c.1800
Dedication: LL

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