antique carnelian engraved fob ring

Antique Cornelian Fob Ring © Naomi Muirhead
Antique Cornelian Fob Ring © Naomi Muirhead

I just finished a piece that I was commissioned to do using an antique fob (probably circa 1800) with a carved intaglio carnelian stone. This was already a really great piece to begin with, found in a junk shop in Rome. In fact, carved stones similar to this one date back to ancient Roman times. Many were set into rings, essentially the opposite of a relief carved cameo. They could be used as wax letter or document seals and in the 1700’s Victorian and Georgian eras were a fashionable male accessory worn as a decorative element suspended on the waist by ribbons or chains, similar to a pocket watch. Women wore a related, but even more practical ornament called a chatelaine.

Antique Cornelian Fob Wax Seal

This particular seal has the profile of a young Roman man. First, I cut the mounting from the floral base. This step was against my instinct as a lover of found objects. I then constructed a band and stone setting base from sterling silver 1mm sheet. These 2 parts were soldered together and the stone with its original brass frame was set with prongs. In the end, the deconstructed fob made a handsome ring.

Steps to making the ring

Wax seal fob ring by Naomi Muirhead

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