Kirsten's Corner

14K Gold Carnelian Intaglio Signet Ring M’Dowall Family Crest

Circa the 1860’s, this 14k gold carnelian intaglio ring contains a family crest with amazing details. Sitting atop a shield is a winged griffin holding a flower in its mouth. As if the artist wanted you to see the griffin up close, the next image is the head of the beast, its face visible in more intricate detail. In the shield, an eagle-like bird of prey spreads its wings, parallel to a crossed section of the shield that repeats the imagery of flowers and eagles. Along the bottom of the intaglio is a carefully carved banner with the words “Vincam Vel Moriar” which translates to “I will conquer or die.”

The intaglio is carved into a thick piece of carnelian with a nice, rich color. It is held in a ribbed bezel. The ring shaft is rounded into half-circles that bisect the ring on either side.

The face of the ring measures 1” x 7/8”. The carnelian has a depth of 5.5 mm. The ring weighs 19.9 grams. The ring is marked as 14k.

The intaglio’s crest is attributed to the M’Dowall family. From the motto, the ring clearly belonged to a determined person who was willing to dedicate their life to their cause!

Beautifully carved and very masculine, this is a great unisex ring. It is a size 9.5 and could be sized up or down 1-2 sizes.

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