A rare and beautiful antique Georgian marquise ring crafted in sterling silver set with a large curved baguette of vibrant purple foiled glass that is decorated in a forget-me-not pearl motif and framed in a halo of pearls.
Known as "amethyst glass" the paste stone has a deep and distinctive hue and it is a colour favoured in 18th century mourning jewellery. The presence of pearls in the design hint at tears shed for the deceased.
The ring is large and imposing, it covers the full front of the finger from the base to middle knuckle and it is a large finger size too which is unusual for rings of this age. Given age, at over 240 years old, the ring is in very good antique condition showing expected wear and signs of advanced age. Cosmetically to the eye the ring is just beautiful with all the pearls present. There are a few surface chips here and there to the glass and a crack at one corner which is stable and shouldn't come loose, please see the magnified close up photos.
These oversized glass and gem set marquise rings were made fashionable in the late 1700s by the ill-fated French queen Marie Antionette who wore a blue glass and diamond version that became known as "Bague au Firmament" (ring of the heavens) because the blue glass representing the sky and the diamonds the stars. This is the first time we have seen one fashioned as a mourning ring, with the purple glass invoking a cold night sky and the pearls tears. It is as unusual, as it is enchanting!
MATERIALS: sterling silver, acid tested
GEMSTONES: amethyst glass cabochon measuring 1-1/8" (2.8cm) tall, 5/8" (1.6cm) wide. Natural seed pearls approx. 1.5mm diameter
MEASUREMENTS: ring size UK-Q, US 8, EU-56.5. The face of the ring measures 1-1/4" (3.2cm) tall by 3/4" (2cm) wide
WEIGHT: 7.4 grams
DATE: Georgian, circa 1780
At Mercy Madge we offer a carefully curated collection of antique and vintage jewellery. Each piece is hand selected with you in mind and we rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone!
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