baroque ring

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Rare Egyptian Rock Crystal Sphinx Ring, New Kingdom, Rammesside Period, 19th-20th Dynasty, 1295-1069 BC

To date, there are virtually no examples of rings with three-dimensional representations of sphinxes on their bezels.

It is likely that this was believed to possess protective qualities, given that the ancient Egyptian sphinx was quintessentially one of the most powerful, protective creatures in the ancient Egyptian pantheon.

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Portrait of Elizabeth i at Angelsey Abbey

Details:

i: Rings: possibly baroque pearls set in gold

ii: Jewel in hair: smaller round jewel above a large, square-cut jewel, both set in gold and terminating in a large teardrop-shaped pearl

iii: Shift worn under the dress: the edge with blackwork embroidery was worn to be visible at the neckline, in this case patterned with Tudor roses, the symbol of the Tudor dynasty

iv: Chains worn around the neck

v: Detail of the collar: alternating groupings of 6 round pearls and large square-cut gems set in gold in Tudor rose imagery, surrounded by Mannerist patterns

vi: Decorative slits or dashes cut in the dress (popular in Italy at the time, they were called sfondato), the fabric underneath is pulled through from below to create small tufts of white fabric. Slitting the fabric without causing it to fray or looses strength was an incredibly specialised task

vii: Detail of the fichu: Lace patterned with large zig-zags containing smaller circles and Tudor roses

viii: Detail of the lace sleeves

ix: Detail of the veil: transparent fabric edged with small teardrop shapes, probably enameled metal discs

x: Central jewel hanging from the collar: a central square-cut jewel in a gold Tudor rose, surrounded by enameling in white and red, with masks, hands and Mannerist patterns. Below there is a chain terminating in a large teardrop-shaped pearl

xi: Detail of the lace neck ruff

xii: Headdress: similar to an Italian balzo, the headdress has gold embroidery and a row of pearls running along the base. The headdress has four larges gold, pearl and enameled clips or bosses. The veil is held behind the row of pearls and pulled back over the headdress

xiii: Black gown with white embroidery of floral patterns contained in rectangular panels edged with small loops