A gold Victorian era Bishop’s ring with stunning enamel work and a hidden ring with a stalking wolf in high relief is presented by Adin: fine antique jewelry based in Antwerp, Belgium,. There’s much to be said about this ring, just with the visual cues. There’s also a mystery, as to why the ring has a separate and hidden ring sitting inside the shank, and why that wolf motif is used!
But then Adin: fine antique jewelry, based in Antwerp, Belgium, had a letter from the self-described great grandson of the Bishop, explaining certain aspects of the ring, but posing another mystery! …that is, how did a Catholic Bishop come to have a great-grandson!?
Putting that question aside, it’s really fascinating to hear about the ring’s structure and the symbolism of its markings and ornamentation.
It is set with pearls amongst the enamelling, and with a central huge gem amethyst in a beautiful velvety dark colour; and is elaborately crafted with angels in high relief on both sides.
Each angel holds a shield – one has the Chi Rho sign (one of the earliest forms of christogram, formed by superimposing the first two letters in the Greek spelling of the word Christ, chi = ch and rho = r ) and the other shield has the three letters PSV. His great-grandson (self-described) confirmed that these were the initials of the Bishop; and also revealed that the wolf motif was a reference to his great-grandfather’s nickname.
And the hidden ring itself? Well – formal Bishop’s rings such as this one were made in a large enough size for the Bishop, in ceremonial regalia, to wear it over gloves. The smaller ring which fitted inside the large ring could be inserted so that the ring was the right size to wear on a naked finger, on less formal occasions.
A video of the ring is below, and following that, on the next page, several images of both the outer ring, and the inner ring with wolf in relief.
Click to see more images and the hidden ring on the Next Page…