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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Last Chance To View ‘Cycles of Life’ Rings Exhibition

De Clercq Roman diamond ring

“Cycles of Life: Rings from the Benjamin Zucker Family Collection,” will come to end on December 6. So time is running out to view a private collection of more than 40 rings that run from the 3rd to the 19th centuries. In addition, to it being on public view at till December 6 at the Les Enluminures New York gallery, 23 East 73rd St.

Ruby and enamel gold ring

This is the first time that the entire collection is on display together and it will be the last as the entire collection is for sale. 

Ring with diamond-set Shoulders and bezel

Zucker is a well-known gem merchant and author who’s written scholarly publications and practical guides about gems and jewels, as well as novels. An illustrated catalog published by Paul Holberton, London, will accompany the exhibition, which will include contributions by Zucker, Sandra Hindman, founder of Les Enluminures, and Jack Ogden, chief executive of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

Gold ring with hand holding a heart

Many of the rings in the exhibition were previously on loan at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, which is known for its extensive jewelry collection, and a few pieces were at other museums. 

Mourning ring of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas

“Zucker is a great private collector and owns countless jewels,” said Cecilia Bonn, Les Enluminures Marketing and Communications director. “He really wanted the work cataloged. Sondra is good at applying scholarship to collections and specializes in Medieval and Renaissance manuscript illuminations, and Roman and byzantine jewelry. There’s a real compatibility here.”

Gold Jewish Marriage ring

Among the standouts is a Roman diamond ring that dates back to the third or fourth century. Once part of the de Clercq collection of Roman and Byzantine jewelry, the ring is centered by a natural uncut diamond with a double pyramid set in a high openwork bezel. It was acquired by Zucker in the 1970s, and loaned as the showpiece of the international traveling exhibition, “Diamonds and the Power of Love,” organized by the De Beers. The diamond giant declared that “the story of the diamond ring begins here”. It was most recently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It is second largest known surviving rough Roman diamond ring. 

Gold Signet ring with a merchant's mark and initials

“The roman uncut diamond ring one of 12 in existence that we know of,” Bonn said. “Seven of the rings are in the British museum and six are in private collections.”

Jewish marriage ring

Other standouts are an Italian made 14th Century Medieval sapphire and gold ring set with a 10th- century sapphire inscribed in Arabic; and a German-made 1631 diamond, ruby, and enamel gimmel ring, from the Rothschild Collection. 

Rothschild diamond ring

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