Monday, November 29, 2021

A Jewelry Historian


From The New York Times:

Louis Koch was a crown jeweler in Germany in the late 19th century who collected rings. By 1904, he already had 1,700. These had been in four generations of the same family before going on permanent display at the Swiss museum in 2019.

The collection now numbers 2,500, including a gold ring made for Pope Pius IX in the 19th century that has an engraved scene of St. Peter as a fisherman. It’s the type given to the pope before enthronement. After his death it was broken in two, as part of the ceremony.

Another is a diamond-encrusted ring from 1786 with a blue and white Wedgwood plaque of King George III, which looks like a cameo. We know that it was a personal gift from the company founder, Josiah Wedgwood, to the sculptor John Flaxman.

And there’s a royal memorial ring made for the French King Louis XVIII, circa 1820. It’s a gold band with little glass domes containing hair relics from King Louis XVI, King Louis XVII, Queen Marie Antoinette and Madame Elisabeth. (Read more.)

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