Rings are perhaps our most personal and evocative pieces of jewelry, bought for special occasions but worn every day. A symbol of love or a fashion accessory, a sign of commitment, status, or wealth, rings may mark weddings, remember the dead, or act as a visual sign of devotion to one’s faith. From sculptural gem-set bands worn in medieval times to Art Deco masterpieces, dramatic gemstone “rocks” of the 1950s, and innovative works of art created by contemporary jewelers, rings have appeared on our fingers for hundreds of years.
In this beautifully illustrated and informative book, Rachel Church narrates the evolution of ring design from 1200 to the present day, offering a unique account of this highly popular accessory. After a general introduction, chronological chapters feature 200 varied illustrations, from period paintings and sketches to special photography of key pieces. A detailed bibliography, glossary, and index conclude the book.
An inspiring, impeccably researched, and concise history of this most ubiquitous of jewels through the ages, Rings is a must-have resource for students, designers, and lovers of jewelry and fashion.
Rachel Church is Curator in the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics, and Glass department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with a special responsibility for the rings collection. She has contributed to a number of V&A publications, including The Gilbert Collection at the V&A.