Superb Paste Cluster Ring c. 1760
Today fine antique paste jewelry from the early 18th century has become more difficult to obtain…and more expensive. Occurring all too often, jewelry no longer in the favored style becomes cannibalized for its original silver and gold settings. Such was the case with paste or strass jewelry. Not merely an imitation of precious gemstones, antique paste was of extremely high quality and craftsmanship. It is celebrated in its own right; its luster, glow and shimmer are incomparable.
Shaped pastes were primarily cut and used only prior to the 19th century. Here nine (9) black dot trapezoidal pastes form a rotunda as they encompass a large icy white round cut paste in a silver rub over setting. As was customary with early paste, the stones were foiled and a golden tone reflection of the foil can be seen. With its traditional mount of silver, the rest of the ring is gold. Finely constructed, the shoulders are classically adorned and the shank reeded. The reverse of the closed back setting is engraved with the characteristic sun ray or basket weave pattern of radiating lines.
Measures more than ½ of an inch (1.4 cm) in diameter and rises just less than ¼ of an inch (0.6 cm) off the finger. Weighs 3.3 grams. Currently a size US 6-1/2 (British M-1/2; Euro 17, 54 mm). In excellent condition which is very rare for a paste ring. Overall light wear and very minor wear to the pastes. Two interior reinforcements on the sides of the shank. English in origin and dates to circa 1760.