This is a superb example of a late Renaissance gold and diamond fede ring, dating to the late 16th - early 17th century. This example would have been set with white opaque enamel (used in en ronde bosse) to cover the hands, the enamel is lost but the goldsmith has scorped the gold to enable the enamel to hold. The hands have a decorated cuff, and part of the wrist engraved with a design to show embroidery or brocade (again originally enameled - possibly in black?) The main feature of this jewel is the central diamond. This is an early table cut mastered in the Netherlands during the 15th -16th centuries. This example is set in a round bezel with a scalloped lower edge. The hands are in effect presenting the jewel, with the diamond giving extra special meaning as 'invincible'. It is possible this ring was originally gifted as a betrothal or wedding ring, it is well documented that diamonds used in a ring by the aristocracy as early as the 15th century as engagement rings. The ring is quite small, but these were originally worn on the upper joints of the hand, or worn on a ribbon sewn onto the clothing or hair.
OBJECT: Fede Ring
DATE: c. 1550 - 1650 A.D.
MATERIAL: Gold 18k (tested) and natural diamond (tested)
RING SIZE: 3 (US) F (UK)
SIZE: 17.39mm x 16.19mm x 2.37mm (bezel 14.06mm x 6.79mm x 3mm)
WEIGHT: 2.43 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection
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