Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown
Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown

ST561

Victorian 9k 4.49 CT Hand-Carved Sardonyx Cameo of Heraldic Shield with Laurel Wreath & Fanned Crown

Regular price$675.00
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Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Unique find! Only 1 available.

  • Shopping pre-owned is choosing sustainable luxury
  • One-of-a-kind item exclusively curated for you
  • Ships with full insurance + signature confirmation

General Information:

  • US Size: 7.25
  • Total Carat Weight: 4.49 ctw
  • Precious Metal Weight: 2.16 dwt
  • Precious Metal Material: 9k yellow gold throughout
  • Dimensions: This ring faces up 15.76 mm north to south, while the pinched band reverse-tapers from 0.97 mm width at the shoulders just past the central bezel mounting up to exactly 2.00 mm width at the base of the shank.
  • Weight: A very nice weight of 3.36 grams
  • Markings: The interior base of the shank is stamped "9ct" indicating its British origins and its 37.5% gold content. 9k gold was first used in the mid-1850s, and is notable for its higher durability than other higher karat golds, given that the purer the gold, the softer the metal.
  • Era: The sardonyx carving is believed to date to the 1870s-1880s, and the band dates a bit later to about 1900. This tells us that the cameo was likely a souvenir, gift or heirloom and subsequently mounted per the owner's specifications.  
  • Buyer Notes: This ring is a stylish and historic treasure, steeped in symbolism that richly enhances the aesthetic appeal of the piece. Please kindly note that the sardonyx stone is natural, so there are areas of super subtle color zoning caused by mineral deposits during the formation process of the stone: when looking at the carved stone shield-upright, there is a slight area of deep reddish-black within the red background around the "11 o'clock" position, and there is a wisp of orangey-whitish hue dashing across the shield towards the center-left. These are to be expected of naturally occuring and mined gems and stones, and are perfectly normal. Please also note that the hand-fabricated bezel setting shows some waviness and wear, commensurate with both its handmade origins and the ring's 120+ year age/use. These characteristics are exactly the charm that we so love about antiques, and indeed, the sardonyx stone is securely in the mounting and the ring is ready to wear.

Specifications:

  • Center Stone Type: Chalcedony-sardonyx (agate)
  • Center Stone Count: One (1)
  • Center Stone Carat Weight: 4.49 ct by formula per the specific gravity of sardonyx
  • Center Stone Dimensions: 15 x 13 x 3.25 mm, as measured within mounting
  • Center Stone Shape: Hand carved oval tablet
  • Center Stone Color: Sardonyx is naturally banded, ranging from rusty red at the base, to semi-translucent milky whitish in the middle and orangey-apricot at the top. This ring shows the red and white layers, while a very, very faint wisp of the orangey top layer is barely perceptible "sweeping" across the shield shape. While not an intentional part of the design and not readily visible, its presence is noted for the buyer's consideration. Please reference the photos to assess this characteristic.
  • Center Stone Clarity: Semi-translucent to opaque

The Story:

In earthy splendor and boasting loads of symbolism, this ring dates to the end of the Victorian period. Sardonyx carvings have soared in popularity for virtually thousands of years, and a renewed affection for non-figural carved cameos arose during the last quarter of the 19th century-- this cameo being a product of this trend. Within art and architecture, an appreciation for handicraft and a sense of 'the artist's hand' surged, and this ring boasts a marriage of all such leanings, beautifully balanced by each component's profound meaning.

The two-tone sardonyx centers a carved cameo featuring a shield, which in heraldic language, is described as a “two engrailed top” escutcheon. This recognizable shield motif emerged in jewelry most prominently during the 19th century, though is certainly found cross culturally in coats of arms predating the Victorian period. Its heraldic title references the shield’s silhouette, which exhibits two scallops that rise to form a single central point along the top, and meet at an almond-like point at the base. While the term ‘escutcheon’ typically refers to the metal panel that protects a keyhole, in this case refers to the panel that holds a heraldic coat of arms. In both senses, an escutcheon panel is both a protective and a decorative agent, a literal and metaphorical shield-- a gatekeeper and a safeguard to something precious beneath.

This cameo is sweetly decorated with a delicately carved laurel cupping the base of the shield, the leafy forms feathering upward, contiguous with the oval form of the tablet. A fanned 'crown' perches atop the shield in perfect harmony to the wreath's carved technique. Just as the shield conveys a message, so too do the laurel wreath and the crown:

The laurel wreath is indicative of status, victory and the yoke of achievement. The ancient Greeks crowned triumphant Olympic athletes with these interlocked branches as a symbol to the world of their perseverance and success. These have become associated with prosperity and willpower. Complementarily, the wreath is connected to the crown above the shield. The crown herein is a stylized impression of the emblem of royalty, and more closely resembles the crest of an egret, the crest being the slender and pronounced feathers at the top of the water bird's head. Egrets, which are part of the heron family, represent a pureness of strength, stability and confidence, and an independent spirit ever moving toward freedom. 

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