Victorian Rare 18kt Bloodstone Lion Intaglio + Hidden Key Signet Ring
The opposite of a cameo, an intaglio is created by carving into the surface of a stone to produce an image in relief, with the purpose of pressing into sealing wax. A signet ring can be represented with an intaglio, or with a simple smooth seal. Its purpose would have been to sign and seal the wax of a letter or note.
A rare and highly unusual intaglio signet ring from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This spectacular ring is crafted in 18kt gold, and features a bezel set bloodstone agate at the center. Carved into the center is the image of a roaring lion, who sits on its hind legs, with its front paws outstretched and its tail curling in the back. The bloodstone agate is a beautiful, deep shade of forest green, flecked with dark orange specks. Below the signet centerpiece is a hidden key feature, which flips out from a small, disguised hinge. Originally, the key may have been used to unlock a special keepsake box, its contents safeguarded from anyone without access to the ring's secret key. Completing the stylish design is a wrap-around wirework border, extending to a stacked band in the back. A truly one-of-a-kind antique treasure, this remarkable ring is a must for the serious Victorian jewelry collector!
Measurements: The ring has a small finger size of about a 4, but can be resized if needed. The bloodstone centerpiece (and surrounding border) measures 5/8" tall, 1/2" wide, and rests about 1/4" above the finger when worn. The hidden gold key measures 1/2" long. The gold band measures 3mm wide at the back.
Condition: The overall condition of the ring is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting or to the hidden key feature, which is securely hinged and in good working condition. The bloodstone intaglio is securely set and free of chips or scratches.