Rings 27.04.2012

18th Century Diamond Fede Ring

Georgian Diamond Urn Ring fede

There are a confluence of techniques and symbols that involve this ring, elements that need to be understood in order to judge it for more than its aesthetic value (which, as you can see, is rather high!).

Georgian Diamond Urn Ring fede

The first thing to note is that it is a fede ring; ‘fede’ meaning ‘faith’ – this is a symbol related to the clasped hands, which in this case are clasped around the urn symbol. With this motif, there is an evolution from the middle ages, when it began to proliferate mainstream jewellery designs and lend itself greatly to the Neoclassical era and beyond.

As we’ve seen, the urn is one of the most popular singular symbols for mortality during the Neoclassical period; its statement relates well to the remains we leave behind and the person who wears the symbol understands their own mortality enough to show their grief for the loss of the loved one.

Georgian Diamond Urn Ring fede

Next, we should look at the quality of the construction of the ring itself. The urn is made of faceted diamonds, which is a grand statement of love, not only from a monetary point of view (of which this ring is quite on the upper level of affluence), but also as the diamond represents true love. It is a hard material that will last forever and it captures the eye with how it glistens from afar. But also, its generous use makes the symbol itself, there are no other competing materials outside of the design for the urn.

This leads into another very popular symbol that this ring is related to; the heart motif. During the 18th century, the heart was used in jewels, from pendants to brooches, and adopted as a shape that was alluded to in peripheral symbols. This heart shape can be seen in the curve of the urn itself, as the urn returns to a hard point at the bottom and curved at the top. Many of the urn designs, as seen in the Georgian Diamond Urn Ring, are wider, or even the more narrow kinds have roundness to the bottom of the shape. The heart motif can be better seen in the articles; Eternity in a Twist: The Hon Alice Nugent in a 1730 Mourning Locket and the Hairwork Eternity and Spotlight On: Regard Necklace – note the heart used as the central motif that is used to house the memento. In this ring, the faceted diamond becomes the heart of the urn, the heart of the wearer and heart held between the hands.

Needless to say, this is a unique and spectacular ring, with its bold simplicity and unique symbolism.

Courtesy: Barbara Robbins