Live Digital Event with Q&A
Tuesday 5 October 2021
Rings are one of the oldest and still most widely worn forms of jewellery, historically, worn and enjoyed by men just as much as by women. In this talk, Rachel Church will look at the history of rings and how men have worn them, from the iron rings of Roman soldiers, the gemset rings of the medieval period, to the diamonds of the 18th century gentleman and rings chosen by fashionable men today.
Rings have been used to seal letters, celebrate love, protect against evil, remember the dead and show status, fashion and identity. This talk will look at surviving historic rings as well as the creations of contemporary jewellers to ask what we can learn about the men who owned and wore them, examining letters, wills, portraits, novels and stories to uncover the rich and often surprising history of these pieces.
Rachel Church has written and lectured widely on jewellery history and design. She is the author of ‘Rings’ (V&A/ Thames and Hudson 2011 and 2017) and ‘Brooches and Badges’ (V&A/ Thames and Hudson 2019) alongside many shorter articles and contributions to catalogues. She worked as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum for over 20 years and was part of the team which redeveloped the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery in 2008 and 2018.