One oval cabochon cut turquoise and 65 single cut diamonds
Stamp: 14K Webb HP 69
Ring size approx. 5.25 in.
Ex. Coll: Private Collection until 2018
Expertise: David Webb polished the ring and replaced a missing diamond in early 2019. They stated that it is was not usual for 14K gold to be used in the early 1960’s when this ring was created by Webb. They also noted that the fine, delicate twisting wire work featured in this ring is now largely a lost art.
The inspiration for many of David Webb’s bold, exuberant, innovative and ultimately quintessentially American jewelry designs were individual precious and semi-precious stones. One of his favorites was the Persian turquoise. This prized type of turquoise originates from the Nishapur area of Persia, now Iran. It has a wonderful uniform Robin’s Egg medium blue color.
Webb borrowed heavily from jewelry designed and created by the ancients. There are known examples of turquoise jewelry dating back to 5000 B.C. Mesopotamia. Turquoise is a 17th century French word coined for this type of stone that was introduced to Europeans by the Turks. In examining this beautiful ring with twisting gold petal forms set with diamonds and culminating in an exquisite cabochon turquoise one is reminded of the turbans the Ottoman Sultans wore, particularly Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566, ruled from 1520-1566). The Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna, Austria has a fine portrait of Suleiman by an anonymous artist after Giovanni Bellini which features a turban which is not unlike this lovely turquoise, diamond and gold ring by Webb. The ring probably dates to the late 1950’s or 1960’s when Webb, like many other leading jewelers, was working with turquoise. Webb, however, did continue to work with turquoise until his death in 1975. He is known for saying, “Turquoise is becoming on everyone” and “It lights up the face.”