Exceptional Early 18th Century Fede Ring
The Fede; a symbol of friendship and consent has been an elusive motif among collectors for many decades now. This particularly rare Fede is a museum quality early 18th century example of Irish origin, in silver. In super condition for her age, I’ve never had another like it. I’ve included a curatorial note from the British museum on the importance and history of Fede symbolism.
“The fede motif (two clasped hands joined at the bezel) represents the joining of hands of the couple at a marriage ceremony, a practice that dates back to ancient Rome and was known as 'dextrarum iunctio'. Until Lord Hardwicke's 1753 Act of Marriage there was no clearly defined process for a marriage ceremony and entering the state of matrimony was governed bylocal customs and rituals. With the introduction of the Book of Common Prayer in 1549 by Edward VI (r.1547-53), there was a clear attempt to encourage people to marry within a church. Nevertheless, canon law prevailed and for this all that was required was the mutual consent of both parties. In addition to uttering words expressing this consent, there were certain signs and symbols that could indicate consent; the holding of hands and the giving of a ring were two of these visible (though not necessary) signs.”
Materials and Features: Sterling and hand etched details
Age/Origin: Irish 1730-1769
Measurements: Size 9.5
Condition: Very Good; some wear on shank, excellent for her age!
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.