Friday, February 22, 2013

Ring Sold at Christie’s Might Have Been Designed by a Freemason (Part 1)

Georgian Era Serpent Mourning Ring, 1836
for Nathan Meyer de Rothschild
Copyright 2012 Christie's

by Angela Magnotti Andrews

The stunning antique mourning ring sold for a surprising $11,021 during Christie’s Jewellery Auction, which was held in London on January 16, 2013.

Estimated to bring in $2,300-3,000, the spectacular gold, ruby, and enamel antique ring was made in 1836 to commemorate the death of the famous banker and financier, Nathan Meyer de Rothschild (1777-1836).

Fashioned into a coiled snake eating its tail, the 18kt gold ring is replete with black enamel scales and cabochon ruby eyes. A detailed engraving on the inside of the band reads: “In Memory of N, M, de Rothschild, Died 28th July 1836. Aged 59, Hallmarked London, 1836, finger size N.”

In 1811, Mr. Rothschild established N M Rothschild & Sons, a multinational investment banking company in London. Having already amassed a significant fortune in the early 1800s, Rothschild was able to fully lend his support to the British efforts during the Napoleonic Wars.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Alderman, Geoffrey. Modern British Jewry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
2. Kaplan, Herbert H. Nathan Mayer Rothschild and the Creation of a Dynasty: The Critical Years, 1806-1816. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006.
3. Meij, W.B. Harold. “Symbolism of the Snake.” The Masonic Trowel, accessed January 30, 2013.
4. “Ouroboros.” Crystal Links, accessed January 30, 2013. http://www.crystalinks.com/ouroboros.html.
5. Saladin F. The Babylonian Code – Vol. One: The Unholy Scriptures. Norderstedt Germany: GRIN Verlag, 2011.
6. “Sale 8127/Lot 183.” Christie’s, accessed January 30, 2013. http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/jewelry/a-19th-century-18ct-gold-ruby-and-5647979-details.aspx.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, can't imagine wearing a snakey ring--intriguing history.

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    Replies
    1. Wait until you read the conclusion! I can't imagine wearing one either, but they became immensely popular shortly after this one was made!

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