Enameled Compartment Ring, ca. 1830
I always thought it might be a poison ring, because it opens up.
Show us how it opens. It's got a hinge, and it closes tight, and that's it. Okay, could you take it off, and we'll put it down here? I think everybody has this conception that if a ring opens up and it's got a compartment, it's a poison ring. They heard these stories about Lucrezia Borgia, they read the books. This ring is made about 1830. It's enameled on gold. It's probably Swiss or perhaps French. And what they wanted was a little snip of their loved one's hair-- a husband, a wife, a child. If they went on a journey, that was what they could keep close to them. And they would open it up, and this was a receiving compartment. They would put the little lock of hair inside, close it up tight, and it was always close to them. It was sentimental. Now, even though it's not a real poison ring, but a compartment ring, an enameled compartment ring like this today has a value of about $2,500 to $3,000 in the collector's market.
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