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Victorian Secret: Antique Ring with Hidden Space & Woven Hair

This unique gold antique ring from the Romantic Victorian Period, circa 1850, is a fascinating piece of history. Crafted in 18K yellow gold, it embodies the era's penchant for sentimental and symbolic designs. The ring features a hidden compartment, a characteristic element of Victorian jewelry, often used to conceal keepsakes or mementos. Additionally, it incorporates intricately woven hair, a popular and poignant element of the time, reflecting the Victorian era's deep fascination with personal and emotional connections. This piece is not just a ring; it's a wearable piece of romantic history, likely of Belgian origin.

Antique jewelry object group: Victorian Secret: Antique Ring with Hidden Space & Woven Hair

Condition: excellent condition
  -  (more info on our condition scale)

Country of origin: Although it does not carry any legible control marks we believe this to be of Belgian origin.

Style: Victorian - Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and Interior decoration. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in a regrettable excess of ornament. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era.
  -  See also: Victorian or more info on styles

Style specifics: The Romantic Victorian Period - Experts divide the reign of Queen Victoria, also called The Victorian era (1837 - 1901) in to three periods of about twenty years each; The Romantic Victorian Period (1837 - 1860), The Grand Victorian Period (1860 - 1880), and the Late or Aesthetic Victorian Period (1880 - 1901).

We consider this to be of the Romantic Victorian Period. This period covers the coronation of Victoria as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, and her marriage to King Albert and their love, their devotion to their marriage and to their country are the sources of inspiration for this period. The jewels of this period are made of intricate carvings, special techniques where the enamel is subtly worked. These techniques allowed to give the jewel a certain opulence with less precious metal needed. As precious metals were really rare at that time. Highly favored (semi-) precious stones in this period are amethyst, coral, garnets, seed pearls and turquoises. The connotation is obviously sentimental, symbolic and romantic with reminiscent Gotic and/or Renaissance patterns and an abundant use of motifs like anchors, birds, branches, crosses, hearts and snakes.

Period: ca. 1850
  -  (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)

Source of inspiration: Romanticism

Material: 18K yellow gold
  -  (more info on precious metals)

Extra information: Hair jewelry - Between the mid 18th century (circa 1750) and about 1870, it was possible for a woman to sell her hair on special markets. The hair was bought by hair dealers who supplied it to special hair craftsmen. At a certain moment this typet of jewelry became such a fashion, that wealthy women started haircraft as a hobby. In fashion magazines of that time, you could find complete descriptions of the way to turn hair into little pieces of art.

Hidden symbolism - Many pieces of jewelry from the 19th century and before are characterized by the use of symbolism. Sometimes this symbolism is obvious but many a time it is hidden. Hidden in shapes, themes, ornaments and/or use of stones. We are not sure but we think that these earrings have some hidden symbolism too. The belt and the screw could point at "attachment" and the use of the blueish/greenish turquoise often refers to the flower "forget-me-not". So maybe we have some Victorian "love-message" earrings here?

Hallmarks: No trace.
  -  (more info on hallmarks)

Dimensions: width 0,53 cm (0,21 inch)

Weight: 3,30 gram (2,12 dwt)

Ring size Continental: 55 & 17½ , Size US 7¼ , Size UK: O

Resizing: This ring cannot be resized because of the way it is made.
  -  (more info on ring sizes)

Reference Nº: 18058-0235

Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry

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Victorian Secret: Antique Ring with Hidden Space & Woven Hair
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