Joyería Antigua: Ruby Ring of Spanish Descent
The term “joyería antigua” can refer to a specific type of antique jewelry from the Iberian Peninsula (which includes modern-day Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Gibraltar and a very small section of France). Late 17th and 18th century jewelry from this area has a style and craftsmanship that is all its own.
With a flair for grandeur, Spanish jewelry stands out with specific visual characteristics that often set it apart from other regional jewelry. Rings such as this example, had a structure and configuration that endured for more than a century - a central dome and a cluster of three on each side.
A hand-worked 15k yellow gold (tested) mount cradles a ruby within a central dome with scalloped borders. A three-part dome design on each side serves as an enhancement to a main stone. All are set with table cut* rubies which are foiled and closed back. Each side is ornamented with three additional gems set within smaller domes also with scalloped edges.
The bifurcated shoulders are adorned with a fleur-de-lys motif followed by three incised vertical bands. The entire shank replicates the scallop-like border interspersed with three bands similar to those on the shoulders.
Condition: Very good; light overall wear as commensurate with age and use; patina on the underside of cluster area; large ruby has scratches and a minute chip on one corner visible under magnification.
Hallmarks: “M” on one side of shank and “C” on the other.
Measurements: The cluster area is 13/16 of an inch (2.1 cm) across and 1/2 of an inch (1.2 cm) at the widest north to south (1.2 cm). Rises more than 3/16 of an inch (0.5 cm) off the finger. Has a weight of 4.7 grams.
Size: US 7-3/4 (UK P; Euro 19, 57 mm. This antique ring can be sized up or down by our expert jewelers.
Date & Origin: 1780 or possibly earlier and is Spanish in origin.
*Note: Table cut refers to a type of stone cutting with a flat top with minimal side facets