1856 Victorian 15k Gold Bloodstone Boar Intaglio Ring

A stunning Victorian era signet ring, fully hallmarked for solid 15k gold, the Birmingham assay office, and the year 1856. Heavy at 6.4 grams in weight, this ring would have originally been intended for a gentleman, to be worn as a symbol of family or clan heritage. The ring face is set with a flat cut bloodstone (a variety of green jasper with red inclusions of hematite) reverse carved with a well-rendered intaglio of a boar, with its tail charmingly curled. Identified as “a boar, passant” on plate 48 crest 14 of Fairbairn’s Crests of the Leading Families in Great Britain and Ireland, this particular crest was used by several families in England and Ireland. A crest formed the upper element of a coat of arms, so each family would have been able to make distinguishing flourishes by adopting a unique amalgamation of motto, supporters, charges, fields, orders, etc. For smaller jewelry pieces such as rings and charms, it was common to show off the family crest alone. The popularity of more traditional crests such as owls, lions, bears, and grayhounds meant that Victorian jewelers could keep a small inventory of pre-made pieces to meet demand, which can be later personalized with inscriptions or mottos.
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Description


Date: 1856 (dated by hallmark)

Ring size: USA 7.25, UK N ½, EU 55 (resizable via laser welder)

Materials: bloodstone, 15k yellow gold (marked and tested)

Weight: 6.4 grams

Marks:
[anchor] for the Birmingham assay office
[15 .625] for solid 15k gold
[H] letter stamp for the year 1856
[V & S] Jeweler’s initials

Dimension of ring face: 15 x 12 mm oval

Height of ring face: 3.5 mm

Max. width of shoulders: 13 mm

Width of shank: 3.2 – 3.4 mm

Thickness of shank: 1.3 mm

Condition: pristine antique condition. The boar intaglio is well-preserved and still sharp. Ring does not appear to have been repolished anytime in its history; the chased details of the shoulder are well-defined and crisp. The full set of hallmarks are still present. There is light surface wear to the bloodstone, and the gold has some general age-related wear.