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from the archive
Georgian Garnet & Pearl Vinaigrette Ring

Personal cleanliness standards in the 19th century were not quite what they are today. Prior to the debunking of the myth that bathing was dangerous for the health, the widespread availability of soap and proper sewage treatment, people needed a way to guard against the unpleasant (often vile) odors encountered in living everyday life. Enter the vinaigrette! These tiny lockets with an open grille were designed to house a cloth or piece of cotton wool soaked in perfume that could be held to the nose in moments of olfactory assault. Sometimes the cloth would be doused in vinegar (which gives this utilitarian jewel its moniker) for its perceived medicinal qualities. Frequently seen in the form of a locket which would have hung from a fob chain or chatelaine, here we have an exceptional Georgian vinaigrette ring with a garnet and pearl cluster face which opens to reveal the grille and sponge compartment. A rare find.


  • Materials

    14k gold (tests), garnets, seed pearls

  • Age

    c. 1800

  • Condition

    Very good - small mark on the inside of one shoulder for a previous repair; small mark on the back of the shank from a previous resizing

  • Size

    4, can be slightly resized, 11mm head, 2.1mm shank

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.

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