Rare Georgian Fede Clasped Hands Marriage Ring - Carved Garnet Ring With Table Cut Shoulders Circa 1750
Unusual Georgian ring dating from 1750, comprising a central oval almandine garnet that has been carved with a pair of clasped hands, the shoulders set with two table cut diamonds in silver rub over settings.
The clasped Hands motif 'mani in fede' - hands in faith as it was called by the Italians, represents a deep faithful connection or union. For a father to join his house to another house via marriage and via the children it makes sense that clasped hands would represent this union or contract. And with this type of workmanship we can assume that the workmanship was made for a noble family.
Clasped hands have been used in jewellery from Roman times and infant my husband gave me an iron roman Fede ring for our 8th wedding anniversary!
I have never seen another with the fede symbol carved into garnet like this, nor with two beautiful table cut diamonds set on the shoulders. The split shoulder detailing is very similar to some Stuart crystal rings and we can still see the influence of that period on the ring.
The enamelled and rayed back has been damaged which is a shame but it is remarkable that the ring, about 270 years old, has survived at all. When you hold the ring in profile there is still a beautiful scalloped pattern to be seen around the gallery.
Information on the history of the Fede rings can be found in Diana Scarisbrick: Rings - Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty, London 2007, p. 66.
size - 5.5 and can be sized
Tests as 8 carat gold
Garnet measures - 8.7mm x 12.1mm
Table cut diamonds measure about 2.7mm x 3.3mm
weighs - 3.2g
face measures - 15.7mm x 11.5mm
Condition - good antique condition, tiny chip on garnet at setting edge, back of ring face has been damaged
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