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Giardinetti ring

Probably English

Mid to late 18th century

Gold and silver giardinetti ring, the openwork bezel formed as a diamond vase with ruby, emerald and diamond flowers

16.31 mm internal ring diameter; 5.64 g weight

Bought in Frankfurt

Presented by Dr C.D.E. Fortnum in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, 1897; WA1897.CDEF.F807

Giardinetti (translates from Italian as 'little garden') rings were popular from the late seventeenth century when the supply of larger stones was limited. Instead, craftsmen devised complex designs that could utilise groups of smaller gems. An important innovation in this period was the placing of the diamond in a silver setting as opposed to gold, thus avoiding the yellow reflections. This feature can be seen in these rings. These floral sprays are typical of the delicate asymmetrical rococo designs of the later eighteenth century.

Scarisbrick and Henig, Finger Rings, 2003, pl. 25.4; Taylor & Scarisbrick, Finger Rings from Ancient Egypt to the present day, 1978, no. 832