In case you’d been thinking that I’ve abandoned my penchant for representational stuff and traditional styles, here’s a pinkie ring with an iolite from India.
Benvenuto Cellini often mentions incorporating masks into rings in his Autobiography, and I have been fascinated by the idea ever since. No doubt mine are nowhere near as good as Cellini’s. His may not have been either – the Autobiography is full of lies and exaggerations, and perhaps that’s why it’s such great fun to read. Here’s an example:
“I thanked the Duke for his kind words, but begged him to let me render this trifling service to the Duchess. Then I took the ring in hand, and finished it within a few days. It was meant for the little finger; accordingly I fashioned four tiny children in the round and four masks, which figures composed the hoop. I also found room for some enamelled fruits and connecting links, so that the stone and setting went uncommonly well together. Then I took it to the Duchess, who told me graciously that I had produced a very fine piece, and that she would remember me. She afterwards sent the ring as a present to King Philip, and from that time forward kept charging me with commissions, so kindly, however, that I did my best to serve her, although I saw but very little of her money.”