Vintage Fede Gimmel Clasped Hands Ring 14k Gold
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An unusual, 14k gold, fede gimmel ring, hand-made with a combination of expert casting and fabricating skills. The miniature hands are highly realistic, human, and genderless. The ring's three, hand-fabricated bands hinge at the back and spin open, enabling the sculpted hands to hide or reveal a small heart. This ring was made (probably in the United States) in the 1980s. It is marked with the artist’s cypher, and for 14k gold. A soulful 20th century take on an old idea— fede gimmel rings were traditionally used as engagement jewelry.
US 6 1/4
Ring face measures approx 7.25 mm x 13.4 mm. Ring shank measures approx 3.8 mm at the shoulder, tapering to approx 2.7 mm at the base
The name fede gimmel, used to describe this style of handclasp ring, is a phrase I always translated (in my head, without thinking, and much to my own amusement) as “loyalty puzzle—” because loyalty can be a puzzle, no?! The gimmel part of the phrase actually comes from the French word gemellus, meaning twin, and the earliest examples were not hinged like the Georgian and Victorian fede gimmel rings we sometimes see offered for sale . . . those early rings puzzled together, but came completely apart and were worn individually for the engagement period, only to be rejoined, and worn as one ring, once a marriage was sealed. ⠀⠀