Victorian Large 18kt/Sterling Carved Garnet Heart + Floral Vinaigrette Ring
A vinaigrette is a small filigree container used to hold a perfume-soaked sponge or piece of cotton. Vinaigrette jewelry was worn by ladies during the Victorian era to mask unpleasant odors in their environments. The vinaigrettes were usually very beautifully detailed, and the scents inside generally consisted of alcohol or acetic acid mixed with a desired perfume or essential oils and herbs, such as peppermint, lavender, sage, cinnamon, or rosemary. When the sponge was soaked with only vinegar, it was intended to help prevent the wearer from fainting. Although they are no longer used in the modern day, Victorian-era vinaigrettes are still interesting historical pieces that make beautiful pieces of jewelry!
An elegant and romantic vinaigrette ring from the late Victorian (ca1900) era! This relatively large piece is crafted in 18kt yellow gold and sterling silver, and features an unusual yet fabulous open compartment design. Adorning the face of the ring is an incredible garnet cabochon which is hand carved into the shape of a heart, exhibiting a gorgeous purple-red hue as the light beautifully reflects off of its surface. The bezel set stone rests at the center of a 3-dimensonal hinged centerpiece, which features flowing mixed metals wirework throughout. The open sterling setting displays delicate cutouts and is embellished with lovely gold flower motifs, with the design carrying onto the mounting below. The centerpiece is hinged and opens to reveal a hollow compartment inside where a desired scent could be stored in an area featuring a wonderful etched border. The split-shank shoulders are decorated with a beautiful leaf design, and finishing the piece is a lovely etched gold band that carries around the back. A fabulous and incredibly unique piece, it would make a stunning statement when worn, and is perfect day or night!
Measurements: The ring is a finger size 6.5 but can be resized if desired. The centerpiece measures approximately 3/4" tall and wide, and rests slightly more than 3/8" above the finger when worn. The band measures 2mm wide at the back.
Condition: The overall condition of the ring is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the yellow gold and sterling setting. The garnet stone is intact and securely set. The hinged mechanism is secure and in good working order.