RENAISSANCE GEMSTONE RING. Western Europe, 16th century, gold, tourmaline, bezel 13 x 10 x 5 mm, Octagonal box bezel set with a fine step-cut tourmaline; double crescents on the sides, the joints in the shape of claws to hold the stone; rear of the bezel engraved with rays once filled with white enamel (traces remain). carved in high relief with volutes. Traces of enamel.The tourmaline was thought to heal physical and mental disorders and prevent death.
Vatican shows off sumptuous 'San Gennaro' collection of gems said to be worth more than England's crown jewels. These include a cross of diamonds and emeralds donated by French Emperor Napoleon and many gifts from monarchs dating from years when the Kingdom of Naples was a major power. ‘This necklace tells the history of Europe,’ said Paolo Jorio, director of a Naples museum where the collection is normally kept.
Commesso, 1550–55 Reverse after design of Étienne Delaune (French, 1518/19–1583), probably a 19th-century addition Gold, enamel, jewels, and chalcedony. The commesso was a rare form of jewelry in which carved semiprecious stones were combined to form an integral part of the design. The technique flourished only briefly in the 16th century French court where Italian & French artists collaborated.