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Unique Vintage Royal Blue Cloisonné Enamel & Swiss Blue Topaz dress ring

Lot reference 15226445
Unique Vintage Royal Blue Cloisonné Enamel & Swiss Blue Topaz dress ring

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Current bid $203
Next minimum bid $215
Location: United Kingdom
Auction fee: 9% of the winning bid
Shipping to United States: $17.77
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$203 Bidder 0641
09-12-2017 19:41:33
$191 Bidder 1150
09-12-2017 18:20:10
$174 Bidder 0641
09-12-2017 18:20:01
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$155 Bidder 1150
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$148 Bidder 1150
03-12-2017 20:32:31

Hallmarks, Date letter C, 375, anchor Birmingham Essay Office

Type: Ring (More lots)
Gender: Unisex
Material: Gold
Material Fineness: 9k yellow gold
Size: N to O
Condition: Very good condition - slightly used with small signs of wear
Main Stone: Topaz

The earliest known enamelled objects were made in Cyprus in around the 13th century BC during the Mycenæan period. Six gold rings discovered in a Mycenæan tomb at Kouklia were decorated with various vitreous coloured layers fused on to the gold.

Earlier decoration of metal objects with glass, along with other materials such as precious and semi-precious stones, such as those found in the tombs of ancient Egypt relied on cementing the glass to the metal or a mechanical fixing by clasps. It was not until this unknown craftsman in Cyprus discovered that by fusing the glass on to the metal that the art of vitreous enamelling was born. The rings are chased gold, with an ornamentation of twisted square wires and it is almost certain that the glass was laid into the cells as very carefully cut pieces. These together with a gold sceptre and orb decorated with white pink and green are the earliest known pieces of enamel and can be found in the Nicosia museum in Cyprus.

This was the forerunner of the development of the Cloisonné technique for enamelling, where strips of gold, silver, copper or brass are attached to the metal base to form a network of small raised cells to form a border into which the enamel is laid, often as a paste. The final thickness is built up in layers with intermediate firings. In this way the ‘cloisons’ (the cells) prevent diffusion of the colours of the enamel and also give the mechanical adhesion of the enamel. When the enamel thickness is complete the cloisons are only visible as a fine network within the enamel. The final process involves grinding to smooth the enamel level with the tops of the cloisons and a polish to bring out the true colours and finish.

Cloisonné techniques pre-date enamel to 4000 BC and was employed as a method of setting semi precious stones into jewellery by cold cementing. This was used widely by the ancient Egyptians, one of the most famous pieces being the gold mask of Tutankhamun, which may look as if it is enamelled, but in fact it is not - the artist has used this early cloisonné method. Filigree work is a development of this technique.

When Caesar conquered Britain, he found that the Celts were already using enamels and many examples of this early craft are in museums all around the British Isles with some very good examples in the British Museum. There is a mirror in Gloucester museum found at Birdlip in Gloucestershire with red enamel. They had used the champlevé technique, where a recess in the metal, either produced by casting, chasing or engraving is filled with opaque red, blue, white and green enamel. The enamel is polished flush with the divisions formed by the edges of the cells. The later Saxon hanging bowls found in the Sutton Hoo boat burial are some of the finest early champlevé work.

A newer technique was developed in Italy in the 13th Century. Known as Basse-taille a translucent or transparent enamel is applied over a low relief, sunken or intaglio design, usually in gold or silver. The earliest known reference to this is in 1286 but the earliest known piece dates from 1290, a gold chalice made for the Convent of St Francis of Assisi.

The collections of the great cathedrals and churches account for the survival of these early works. A rare piece known as the King’s Lynn Cup or sometimes as the King John’s Cup is on display at King’s Lynn. It has been much restored over the years, but it originally dates to 1325 and is almost certainly the output of an English workshop. The Royal Gold Cup of the Kings of France and England was certainly made in Paris in 1380-1390 and may be found in the British Museum, where it is one of the most important treasures. This piece, although restored and added to, still shows the original colours as vibrant as the day that it was first fired. It is one of the best examples of the durability and longevity of enamels.

By the 15th Century the skills of enamellers were gaining in complexity. The earliest known use of the plique-a-jour technique was in the 13th Century. The technique involves the use of translucent or transparent enamels fused to form a span across a network of cells, without a backing under the enamel. The enamel is thus the structure of the piece – a shell supported within the network of metal cells. It is similar to cloisonné but without the base support. Often a temporary backing is used to support the enamel during the firing and then it is removed by dissolving or polishing when the piece is complete. This is undoubtedly the most difficult technique of enamelling, but the results can be very spectacular. The silver gilt Mérode cup in the Victoria and Albert Museum dates from the 15th Century and is thought to be of Flemish or Burgundian origin. It is the only known piece of plique-a- jour from this early period.

The Limoges area of France, already well skilled in Champlevé techniques, adapted the skill developed by the Venetian glass makers of painting enamels onto glass by painting enamels onto metals. This technique, adopted in the 15th Century, did not require the complex divisions or engraving and led the way forward to a method which with only slight modifications is still used by art enamellers today.

Until the 18th Century nearly all enamelling involved the production of works of art and religious artefacts.

Enamel work of these early eras is now highly valued and later names such as Faberge and Battersea became synonymous with the special appeal of vitreous enamel.

The first enamelling of iron is thought to have taken place in Germany in the 18th Century and by the end of the century, production of enamelled cast iron cooking vessels was being carried out. By then, enamelling of sheet iron was already taking place in Sweden. The Industrial Revolution drove forward the quality of this first adventure into industrial vitreous enamelling and by the mid 19th Century enamelled cooking vessels were commonplace.


Gb CheshireLass  top

Catawiki member since March 14, 2017, received 591 reviews in total (242 in last 12 months)

Feedback score: 99.6% (242 reviews)
(last 12 months)
  • Everything ok!

    user-67ec966 July 18, 2019

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    Vlotte transactie. Levering is correct gebeurd.
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    user-dcaf71c July 17, 2019

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    Todo perfecto. muchas gracias
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    user-285e93a July 17, 2019

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    lotti scadenti.rispetto alle foto l'anello con tanzaniti é microscopico e l'altro ha una caratura di diamanti nettamente inferiore all'indicato.
    lo spessore dell'oro é minimo Meno di 2 mm)
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    user-6ce6b46 July 15, 2019

    Response by seller
    This buyer continually places successful bids for my items and yet always makes negative comments without contacting me first. I always ask she emails me first if there are problems but she doesn't. She then buys another item and the same again.
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    bien reçu - correspond à la description - très beau - parfait - je recommande
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    user-5e7d956 July 14, 2019

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    Parfait.
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    user-e32c9d7 July 6, 2019

  • The fancy and beautiful jewellery. I'm very satisfied with it.

    user-215bdf3 July 1, 2019

  • perfect condition

    user-2501757 June 28, 2019

  • A Stunning Ring im very happy with the Quality and the Lustrous Sparkle of the diamonds,
    Thank you for your Speedy delivery.
    Kind Regards
    Adrian

    Adrian50 June 25, 2019

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    Très jolie bague mais j'aurais voulu avoir la facture avec.
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    user-7cdedbf June 24, 2019

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    dear sir,
    I have just received your delivery.
    I am very pleased with the ring. really beautyful.
    I would deal again with you.

    kind regards,
    hmm
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    uzol June 21, 2019

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    Nice item, good codition and came safelly. Thank You
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    user-34ae1ea June 18, 2019

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    👍
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    user-ff9d686 June 15, 2019

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    Lovely piece of jewelry. It did not disappoint. however, the box pictured on the site was not the box the ring was delivered in, which is a shame. the box pictured was old and could be original.
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    MariaLena June 5, 2019

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    Bellissimi orecchini. Spedizione avvenuta nei tempi stabiliti. Consiglio vivamente.
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    user-bca3609 June 4, 2019

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    Très jolie bague conforme à sa description et aux photos, MERCI !
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    Minard June 1, 2019

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    Perfect delivery.thank you
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    user-ef9854d May 31, 2019

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    Tres Jolie bague ma femme est aux anges. Merci encore.
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    user-6377bbf May 25, 2019

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    Responde a la descripción. Dena ondo. Oso polita da.
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    user-ea29e29 May 25, 2019

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    Hola: una maravilla de anillo , es muy original , me encanta está combinación de oro blanco , oro amarillo , a mi no me gustan los anillos con piedras y esté es ideal

    AATT Maria
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    Myriam1981 May 24, 2019

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    lotto arrivato ieri.
    Anelli di opale belli
    Orecchini scadenti in rapporto qualità prezzo
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    user-9643d3f May 24, 2019

    Response by seller
    I am sorry that you didn't contact me first to discuss any thoughts you had about the jewellery. I am thankful that you buy regularly from me. In the defence of the item they are truly high quality gemstones and much regarded.
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    het kavel is teleurstellend vldoet niet aan de foto. er past geen kettingkje door.verpakking oke prijs te duur voor dit item
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    bluewoman May 22, 2019

    Response by seller
    I'm sorry you feel dissapointed but the close pictures are to show the detail of the item. Coral is a very rare commodity and is worth double the winning bid. Maybe you should have contacted me if you had any concerns instead of leaving neutral feedback
    Kind regards
    Elaine
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    Perfect - correspond to the description
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    user-af065dc May 20, 2019

  • very happy with my purchase. perfect delivery.

    user-6b11b98 May 19, 2019

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    Quickly delivered. Just as stated in the description
    Thank you
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    user-d9b5c05 May 18, 2019

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