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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Portrait ring

A type of finger ring that bears a portrait carved on a gemstone as a cameo, enamelled or moulded on the bezel, or painted on vellum and covered with a crystal on the bezel. Some Roman rings bore a portrait of a friend of the owner, and some Saxon rings a portrait of the owner.

Rings have borne depictions of a number of English Sovereigns. Few such rings were made for private individuals, most preferring a portrait enamelled on a pendant, but from the 18th century some such cameos were made, probably carved in Italy and mounted in England, with a few bearing the name of the subject. Portraits are also on the rings mounted with Tassie Medallions and with cameos made by Wedgwood.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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