Late Victorian Sterling Clasped Hands + Heart Moveable Fede Gimmal Ring
Originating in Roman times, a fede ring consists of two clasped hands that meet in love, marriage, or friendship. A gimmal ring (also spelled "gimmel") is comprised of two or three separate rings that fit together to form a single ring. Popular in Western Europe during the 1700s-1800s, gimmal rings were often used as betrothal rings with symbolic meanings. Traditionally, the bride and groom would each wear a single ring, later combining them when joined in marriage. In the case of three-ring designs, a third person would wear a separate ring in witness of the marriage, which would later complete the three piece design. The combination of two hands and a heart in gimmal rings remained popular after the renaissance period, thanks in part to their sentimental nature.
This beautiful antique ring from the late Victorian era (ca1900) is a wonderful example of a traditional fede gimmel ring! Crafted in sterling silver, the moveable tri-ring design depicts two clasped hands that hide a small heart underneath. The 3-dimensional hands fit perfectly together, and interlock at the center and when pulled open, a lovely heart emerges from behind. The cuffed sleeves on each wrist symbolize male and female hands, joining together in love or betrothal. The three polished bands are hinged together with a small riveted pin at the back and "925" is stamped on the edge of the middle band. A very collectible and sentimental late Victorian piece, it would make a special gift or unique accessory!
Measurements: The ring has a finger size 6 and due to the unique 3-hoop feature of the design, the ring unfortunately cannot be resized. The centerpiece of the ring where the clasped hands meet measures approximately 5/8" wide and 1/8" tall. The tiny heart inside measures a little more than 1/8" wide and tall. The band measures approximately 4mm wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the piece is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling setting. The moveable tri-ring design is secure and in excellent working condition. There is a natural patina on the surface of the silver that gives it a darkened antique appearance, which is normal for Victorian era jewelry and adds to its unique beauty and character.