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Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century.
Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century. - Antique Jewellery Style Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century. - Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century. - Antiquités - Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century.
Ref : 99858
30 000 €   -   SALE PENDING
Period :
11th to 15th century
Provenance :
England
Antique Jewellery  - Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century. 11th to 15th century - Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century.  - Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century. Antiquités - Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century.
Matthew Holder

European Works of Art & Sculpture


+44 (0) 7906300197
Extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring. English, 13th century.

An extremely fine and important cabochon sapphire ring.

English, 13th century.

Ring size S UK / 9 US.

The sapphire measures 1.1 x 0.9cm.

The ring is from a Private English Collection.

During the Middle Ages, gemstones were often associated magical and protective properties that they were believed to possess. Gemstones could protect against evil or poisons as well as heightening the individuals’ characteristics and strengths. Sapphires were frequently worn by Bishops and other Clergy due to their ability to promote it’s bearer's chastity and piety. Sapphires were believed to be able to change colour if the wearer acted sinfully or lacked faith, it was because of this belief that jewels set with sapphires were worn as as symbols of honesty and devout faith.

The sapphire most likely pre-dates the ring, having originally been worked in the Byzantine or an earlier period after travelling along the Silk Road from Sri Lanka, before it’s reuse within the present ring. The sapphire has a subtly concaved polished dish to the centre of the gem, traditionally used in order remove a blemish or inclusion to the surface. The purity of the hue of the gemstone was seen as essential in order to strengthen the power of the amuletic purpose of the ring.

Between the date of 1250 until his death in 1259, Matthew Paris, a Benedictine monk, scholar, traveller and illustrator worked on the “Liber Additamentorum” one of a number of manuscripts he created throughout his lifetime. Now thanks to The British Museum we can access the original manuscript and study the work online. We are naturally drawn to the illustrations and descriptions of the jewels and gemstones.

Matthew Paris was based at St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire, England and chronicles the lives of the people around him and attempts to document the broader history of Europe - this included documenting the important jewels held by the Abbey. When examining the illustration of the jewels within the Liber Additamentorum it is clear to draw direct comparisons to the present sapphire ring. The oval shape and the low cabochon of the sapphires depicted, mirror our sapphire’s form. The four claws at the cardinal points holding the gem securely and the rim of the rich yellow gold setting, equally are the same.

The ring is an exquisite example, in remarkably fine condition without any damage or historic repairs. Parallels can be found in the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, York Minister and numerous Treasuries all throughout Europe.

Delevery information :

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Matthew Holder

CATALOGUE

Antique Jewellery