Admittedly, we knew very little about this intriguing ring when we first acquired it. After some extensive examination, we have found that this fantastic and peculiar piece is possibly a portrait of the German composer Richard Wagner. I love this 19th century oddball piece, and a part of me says it has always been a ring as the shank is beautifully matched. It reminds one of the late 19th century dandyism that really gripped culture: as we think of Oscar Wilde, who is considered to be the godfather of Aestheticism in his hunt for all that was beautiful, this really characterized a certain type of gentleman in the late 19th century, who that particular gentleman idolized 18th century dandy with his powder wigs, large hat, and frock coats. Here, we see a very Wagnerian character with his walking staff and Aesthetic Movement inspired ivy leaves, twirling around the exterior of the piece as though he is walking fully clothed in his pompadour bouffant through a beautiful forest. This piece is truly a rare intersection of so many different cultural expressions that were happening at the time of its creation, probably around 1890. We are so thrilled to have this special piece in the Curio.
Materials and Features:
Polished and blackened brass top, 14ct gold band
Victorian, c. 1870
Weight: 9.2 grams
Ring size: 10.0 US
Condition: Excellent condition. Minor associated age wear.
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.
Brass and 14ct Gentleman Portrait Ring