The design for this, my Christina ring has been adapted directly from a design found in an antique catalogue of jewellery from the turn of the 20th century.
In 2006, I had the great fortune to work for a store on Castlereagh St. in Sydney that specialised in antique jewellery. In addition to antique pieces, they wanted us, their jewellers, to newly reproduce antique designs from their archived records. This was the best work I have ever done in my life, and I knew I would incorporate an old-world ethos into everything I did from then on.
I love re-creating antique designs because I believe they are too beautiful to be lost. Original antiques are often worn thin or melted down to create new styles. Not long ago, these beautiful designs remained hidden in the pages of antique catalogues or languished in private collections or museums. Now that we have the internet as a resource, it is possible to access actual records of antique designs from which to draw inspiration for modern pieces.
The design for this ring comes from a copyright free catalogue, re-published in 2008.
The original, German catalogue is dated 1904 and within it, I can see the beginning of mass production techniques such as pressing and machine engraving.
Trends in jewellery take longer to turn over than those in fashion. These designs show a mixture of classic styles with a restrained and stylised form of late Art Nouveau.
The Meaning of the name Christina
I called the ring Christina because it is a family name. My great Grandmother, Mother and niece are all called Christina, so, because this design is a personal favourite of mine, I named it in their honour.
Here is a picture of the original, next to my adaptation.
Some antique designs can be too fussy and over-done. I wanted to simplify, leaving just enough detail to hint at the antique origins, while creating a new, more minimal piece.
The Christina ring has a low profile, it sits close to the finger. It doesn’t get caught on, or scratch things, making it an excellent choice for an everyday ring. The design incorporates negative space that lets the wearer’s skin be seen beneath, giving it a sparse and delicate feel.
Christina is a beautiful gift for a daughter or niece. It could be used as a promise ring, or even as a combined engagement and wedding ring for an unconventional couple. Regardless, it was made to be cherished for a lifetime and beyond.