Ring - inv. 655

Italy, (c. 1550-1575)

Ring with a setting that can be opened
gold   pearl   enamel  
diameter 18 mm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 655

Jewelry Room


The peculiarity of this ring is the setting that can be opened, intended to contain powdered medicine or poison. This mechanism, with a concealed hinge will be diffused only in the eighteenth century by Fabergé with his famous snuffboxes. The ring is decorated with polychrome enamels in geometrical patterns and by four half pearls at the top of the setting. Given its dimensions, the ring was clearly intended for a male hand or to be worn over a glove. Renaissance fashion required the most precious rings to be worn over the gloves, in large numbers and on the fingers of both hands.