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    Sale 5383

    Jewels at South Kensington

    7 October 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 138

    A late 18th century French diamond cluster ring

    Price Realised  

    A late 18th century French diamond cluster ring
    The circular bezel pavé set with graduated old-cut diamonds, in silver and gold mount, the reverse engraved with a flower motif, the plain hoop with bifurcated shoulders, circa 1780, in original shagreen ring case, finger size - M


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    Provenance

    Accompanied by a 19th century manuscript letter describing the history of the ring, stating that it had been brought to Canterbury by a refugee from the French revolution and sold to an English aristocrat.

    "The traditional history of the ring is as follows: It was the property of Mrs Bullman a lady of some eccentric notoriety, who was a Duchess and many years resided at Canterbury and during the awful period of the first French Revolution. The French Noblesse and Ecclesiastics, at this time, in droves, fled for their lives accross the Channel...Amongst this sad number, was an individual who in his poverty and inivation called on Mrs Bullman and offered to sell her the ring, to buy him some bread! the history he gave was this:- that it formerly belonged to the unfortunate Queen Marie Antoinette and was worn by her, and was by the mob, ruthessley torn from her finger, on her route to the place of execution!..."


    Exhibited

    Chaumet, Paris, Cinq Siécle De Bague D'Amour', April, 1993, No. 114