Diamond Cluster Ring
This striking ring features a centerpiece of table- and rose-cut diamonds set on a gold hoop of elaborate acanthus foliage. The bezel is composed of one large table-cut diamond in a cusped box setting, flanked on either side by a cluster of three smaller diamonds in rounded settings with foliate edging, one rose-cut and two table cut diamonds. The gold, D-section hoop is plain on the interior while the exterior is embellished with intricate acanthus against black enamel. The underside of the bezel is composed of stylized leaf patterns over black enamel. The enamel shows signs of wear through age, and the ring is in good, wearable condition.
During the seventeenth century, diamonds became increasingly popular and cuts became more intricate in order to play with light and reflection. Instead of expensive, single diamond settings, cluster rings such as this offered fashionable alternatives with mesmerizing visual effects. Since the fifteenth century, diamonds were valued not only for their rarity and durability but also for their symbolism as betrothal or wedding rings, standing for virtue and constancy and worn by both men and women.
Scarisbrick 2007, p. 315, no. 441.
Variants of this type of seven-stone ring with cusped settings, foliate edging, and black enamel shoulder ornaments are known (Scarisbrick 1993, pp. 96, 98; Chadour 1994, vol. 1, no. 738). However, the finely worked details and high quality of this ring set it apart from its contemporaries.