GEORGIAN PAPAL POISON HIDDEN COMPARTMENT LOCKET RING ITALIAN ITALY GOTHIC GLOVE HUGE RING 1820s 1830s Signet Seal Crest
Striking Georgian Victorian Italian circa 1830s Papal Style Seal Ring. Renaissance Revival ring with a secret compartment, often termed a Poison ring.
This very rare iron, bronze and gilt ring is Italian circa 1830s. It bears a hand engraved coat of arms and would likely have been used as a seal. The engraved lid hinges to reveal a hidden compartment. This is lined with red velvet contemporary to the piece.
The coat of arms depicts an early square sailed vessel, its mast being in the form of a tree. The upper branches of the tree bear fruit or perhaps flowers. All edges of the ring feature various decorative gallery strip, the top edge being decorated in a gothic style.
The ring is decorated on all four sides with high relief designs in contrasting gilt metal:
• A male figure in renaissance dress plays a lute astride a winged horse.
• A classically robed winged female figure in flight, in her hands flowers or fruits. On her back a winged infant who holds aloft a torch.
• The profile of a veiled woman. She wears a green jewel earring.
• The same veiled woman with green jewel earring, in addition she wears a pearl necklace with attached cross.
As can be seen, the scale here is substantial. The top of the ring measures 19/16" by 1 7/16" (39mm x 37mm). The ring rises 1 1/4" (32mm) off the finger and shank is 11/16" (17mm) wide. The weight is 94 grams. The ring size is large... a US 13 suggesting that if worn, it was intended for a gloved hand.
The ring is in excellent condition with age appropriate wear to the sides of the ring and to the velvet lining the secret compartment. It is guaranteed to be genuinely antique and from the period.
Surviving rings of this kind, especially in fine condition are more than rare. In recent years, Christies have handled just one. In all our years as antique dealers, we have handled only two.
This historically fascinating antique could easily adorn a desk or writing table with considerable effect. A wonderful acquisition or a very special gift.
An Appraisal Certificate, issued by an accredited specialist antique Jewelry Appraiser accompanies this lovely item