SWIVEL RING WITH PORTRAIT OF NAPOLEON IN A CRYSTAL LOCKET
France, c. 1815
Gold and crystal
Weight 1.7 gr.; bezel 12.6 x 10 mm.; circumference 58.21 mm.; US size 8 ½; UK size Q ¾
The bezel of this rare historic ring bears a portrait painted on bone of Napoleon, wearing the uniform of the Chasseurs de Cheval with the sash of the Legion of Honor, contained in a small oval capsule with a convex crystal lid that opens. Movable rivets attach the delicate round hoop to the swivel bezel.The ring was probably a gift offered to a supporter of the emperor around 1815. But, during the Hundred Days, Napoleon was also surrounded by fierce opponents – hence the swivel bezel. After Napoleon’s death the devoted owner, surely a loyal Bonapartist, had added a black frame, painted on the interior of the crystal and meant to frame the portrait of the deceased as a sign of mourning.