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Monday, October 1, 2012

Jürgen Abeler Ring Collection Up For Auction

Christie’s South Kensington will be offering more than 500 rings—dating from ancient Egypt and Rome through the 21st century—from the Collection of Jürgen Abeler of Wuppertal, Germany. The majority of the 103 lots, including several groups, will be feature as part of the auction house’s jewelry sale on October 9. More than 40 important ancient rings will be featured in its antiquities sale on October 25.

Estimates for individual rings start at £200. All items on offer from the collection will be on view October 5 till 8 at Christie’s South Kensington saleroom on 85 Old Brompton Road.

Highlights include a 16th Century signet ring of Johann Ernst von Sachsen, Julich, Kleve and Berg the great grandson of Sibylle von Julich, Kleve and Berg, sister of Anne of Kleve (Cleves) (1515-1554) wife of Henry VIII, King England(1491-1547), illustrated above left. Other highlights are mourning rings for Vice Admiral Nelson, killed at the Battle of Trafalgar illustrated above center, and the composer George Frideric Handel illustrated above right. The sale will also include a selection of modern conceptual and design rings.

Born in Wuppertal in 1933 into a family of watchmakers and goldsmiths, Jürgen Abeler continued this tradition. Abeler’s interest in rings stemmed from his grandmother’s Christmas present in 1955 of Heinz Battke’s book on the history of the rings, “Geschichte des Ringes in Beschreibung und Bildern.” Abeler would eventually acquire the author’s own collection of rings. Abeler would collect rings from myriad sources and locations—auctions, antique shops, private hands and foreign lands. The result was a collection ranging from Roman and Egyptian examples to rings highlighting 21st century design. In Jürgen Abeler’s own words he wished to create “a coherent, comprehensive overview about the whole topic up to (the) modern day.”

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