This type of jewel is called a Stuart crystal. Stuart crystals were mounted in all sort of jewelry, from pins, rings, slides, bracelets and more. Most of the Stuart crystals that survived over the ages are the slide variety, like this one. They became popular in England after 1649, with the execution of the then King of England, Charles I. His loyalists, (the royalists) who wanted to show their sympathy for their fallen monarch would wear small slides set with his portrait or a tress of hair and his initials (in fine gold wire) underneath a faceted crystal.
To find a Stuart crystal slide in this quality with these colors and the depicted scene is really rare, even for us. It is with great pride that we can offer this true collector’s item here at our site.
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Adin Museum Of Fairy Tale Artefacts proudly presents:
A royal seal !
Once upon a time… there were three kings that went on a relic-quest to the Holy Land. Their remains were transported to Cologne by Frederick Barbarossa where they rest today. As a reminiscence to this quest the family de Grammont intergrated the three heads in their family crest.
The family de Grammont are among the five most noble families in France and come from the family of the barons de Granges, barons of the county of Bourgogne in France. This family had many great officers at the court and armies of the Dukes of Bourgogne, and three archbishops of Besançon. Four Grammonts were lieutenant generals in the armies of the King of France in the eighteenth century. The family crest of de Grammont bears also the crosses of Bourgogne.
A bishop ring is not an every day object in our inventory. In the almost 30 years of experience in the antique jewellery trade we can recall to have purchased only two before. (One of them was used in the movie “The Da Vinci code” based on the best seller by Dan Brown. It was worn by Alfred Molino playing the role of Bishop Aringarosa.)
There is something odd about this ring. Not the bishops ring itself but the ring that comes with it. Inside the bishops ring we found a silver ring hidden with in relief a gold wolf. Bishops rings are normally worn on gloves so their size is “a bit larger then normal”. But to find another ring hidden into such ring puzzles us. A hidden ring with a non-Christian motif. What could be the story behind this? Why would a person wearing such ring find it important to hide an extra symbol to this high profile ring and hide it?
This particular ring is set with a huge gem amethyst in a beautiful velvetish dark sparkling color and is elaborately crafted with angels in high relief on both sides. The wings of the angels are enameled in a way that we can recognize as a neo-Egyptian style. Each angel holds a shield, one shield with the Chi Rho sign and the other shield with three letters PSV, most probably the initials of the Bishop.
The Chi Rho is one of the earliest forms of christogram, and is used by Christians. It is formed by superimposing the first two letters in the Greek spelling of the word Christ, chi = ch and rho = r. The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by pagan Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chreston, meaning “good.”
According to “The Church Visible”, by James-Charles Noonan, Jr. (Viking), the bishop’s ring is a sign of authority. In the earlier Code of Canon Law clerics who were not bishops were forbidden to wear rings. As a symbol of episcopal authority the ring first appeared in the third century. By 637 A.D. St. Isidore of Seville would write, “To the bishop at his consecration is given a staff; a ring likewise is given him to signify pontifical honor or as a seal for secrets”. According to Noonan, the bishop’s ring would later also take on the symbolic meaning that he was wedded to the Church. The cardinal’s ring is given by the Holy Father at a Mass following his being named a cardinal.
There is something odd about this ring. Not the bishops ring itself but the ring that comes with it. Inside the bishops ring we found a silver ring hidden with in relief a gold wolf. Bishops rings are normally worn on gloves so their size is “a bit larger then normal”. But to find another ring hidden into such ring puzzles us. A hidden ring with a non-Christian motif. What could be the story behind this? Why would a person wearing such ring find it important to hide an extra symbol to this high profil ring and hide it?
FRENCH 18K GOLD ART NOUVEAU 4-CLOVER BUTTON
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(three leaf clover)
The shamrock, a symbol of Ireland and a registered trademark of the Republic of Ireland, is a three-leafed old white clover, sometimes of the variety Trifolium repens (a white clover, known in Irish as seamair bhán) but today usually Trifolium dubium (a lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí).
The diminutive version of the Irish word for “clover” (“seamair”) is “seamróg”, which was anglicised as “shamrock”, representing a close approximation of the original Irish pronunciation. However, other three-leafed plants – such as black medic (Medicago lupulina), red clover (Trifolium pratense), and Common wood sorrel (genus Oxalis) – are sometimes designated as shamrocks. The shamrock was traditionally used for its medical properties and was a popular motif in Victorian times. It is also a common way to represent St. Patrick’s Day. Shamrocks are said to bring good luck.
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Articles of jewelry made in Greece during the Classical period, from the Age of Pericles, c. 475 BC, to 323 BC, when, after the conquests by Alexander the Great, foreign influences changed the character of Greek styles and techniques.
Gold was scarce, and the jewelry emphasized workmanship of the metal, with minor use of enamelling, granulation or gemstones. The main articles were earrings (especially rosettes from which pendants were suspended), necklaces with pendants and beads, finger rings (some with seals), wreathes, and bracelets (spirals and penannular hoops with ornate finials).
The style of shaping and decorating articles during the entire period of Greek and Roman civilization, but sometimes restricted to the period of highest Greek culture, c. 475-323 BC (sometimes called the ‘Hellenic style’).
In the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, the use of the dung beetle (also called: scarab) as a symbol became common. The dung beetle’s rolling of dung into a ball was seen as an earthly symbol of the heavenly cycle. Cut in bone, ivory, stone, Egyptian faience, or precious metals they were often incorporated into tombs, as grave goods, or given as ‘gifts’. Over centuries till our days, to people with a fascination for the art and beliefs of ancient Egypt, the scarab is an item of popular interest.
In the past 200 years, Ancient Egypt has been a rich source of inspiration to art and fashion worldwide for at least three times. We call these three periods the Egyptian revivals or Neo-Egyptian styles and they are divided as follows:
- the first one was initiated by Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian Campaign, circa 1797
- the second by the construction of the Suez Canal in 1859 and its official opening in 1869
- the third by the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun in November 1922
We think the ring pictured here is made in Egypt somewhere between 1920 and 1930. Perhaps not even made as a result of the third Neo-Egyptian revival but just to sell to tourists. It could also be questionable if the scarab is originally from the Ancient Egyptian era or specially made to look old, as there are no reasons to believe that the tourist industry in general has changed over the years.
Click the picture to get to the descriptive page of this jewel.
It could be well possible that this locket was made to celebrate the passage of Halley’s comet. The passage of Halley inspired jewellers to make jewels in the shape of celestial bodies. This comet appears every 76 years. In 1705 Edmond Halley predicted, using Newton’s newly formulated laws of motion, that the comet seen in 1531, 1607, and 1682 would return in 1758 (which was, alas, after his death). The comet did indeed return as redicted and was later named in his honor.
Or the maker of this beauty was just into stars…. who will tell after so many years?
Click the picture for more information on this beauty.