Renaissance Ring with Turquoise Cabochon
Turquoise is a healing stone worn to protect against ill-health and restore one’s love life. This elegant gemstone ring dates from the early Renaissance. You can see examples worn in contemporary portraiture by famous artist like Lucas Cranach and Han Holbein.
Gold ring with rounded hoop on the interior and exterior, which widens toward the ends. These support a rectangular bezel with a flat base, tapering sides, and convex top with inset oval-shaped turquoise cabochon. The ring shows signs of age and is in good, wearable condition.
Many myths and beliefs surround turquoises. As an amulet, they were believed to protect the wearer from ill-health as well as restore marital harmony between a husband and wife. Through the centuries, it developed into a gemstone that was worn as a sign of friendship and given between friends and lovers as a symbol of togetherness. The color reflected the blue of forget-me-not flowers.
The simplicity of the bezel is reminiscent of fifteenth-century rings, while the hoop with its tapering form and proportions is more contemporary with early sixteenth-century designs. Plain gold rings with a turquoise cabochon become fashionable in the first half of the sixteenth century and were worn by men, women, and children. The settings differ from cusped to box form. See: Scarisbrick 2004, no. 156; Scarisbrick 2007, fig. 337; Haedeke 2000, no. 261; Chadour 1985, vol.2, no. 235; Oman 1974, 27A and in portraits 23A and B.