“The Three Graces has the honor to present this ring as one of the finer examples of its type and condition. Hailing from the earlier 19th century in the romantic portion of the Georgian period, it is exceptional in every regard.

More ornate than the typical cluster ring of the time, the top is hinged and opens to reveal a secret glass covered locket compartment. Hand-engraved to the obverse of the locket top on the interior of the shank is “from Hugh Clunes, to his sister, Margaret”. Exceedingly fine, the top is modeled in a vision of a flower head using natural half saltwater seed pearls and natural half Persian turquoise with a crimped collet perimeter with the central turquoise in a pinched bezel setting.

A trio of half seed pearls set in individual pinched collets forms a “bridge” across the wider section of each split shoulder along with a separate pearl closer to the double shank. Throughout the surface of the 15k yellow gold shank and shoulders you find that characteristic floral texture and pattern for which the English are best known.

Please note how the bifurcated shoulders segue into the double banded shank. Hand engraved to the interior of the shank is the Latin phrase “Pignus Amicitiae” which translates as a pledge of our friendship or a token of our alliance. In all, the period 15k yellow gold ring is set with fourteen (14) natural half seed pearls and seven (7) natural half turquoise cabochons.”



Look at what I found at the museum today! A violin dated to 1810, the year Rite of Summer is set. I envisioned Stephen’s violin a little darker than this while I was writing, but just look at that shape! 

The violin was considered a man’s instrument during the British Regency; it would be utterly scandalous for a woman to be caught raising her arms high enough to play it properly.

Note also the lack of rests. Louis Spohr (1784–1859) is supposed to be the inventor of the chinrest in about 1820, while shoulder rests didn’t come into use until the mid-twentieth century. There’s a reference to using folded cloth between the violin and shoulder in order to bring the violin up higher in a document from 1836 or so, but no mention of how often that was actually done.