Kirsten's Corner

Rare 18K Gold Jean Després Aquarius Zodiac Signet Ring


This 18k gold signet ring is designed by French Art Deco artist and jewelry maker Jean Després.  At first glance, it is a classic signet ring engraved with simplistic geometric patterns. But with a closer look, the pattern represents water. Després simplified an image of ocean waves and the horizon—the Aquarius Zodiac sign— into these three varying lines. Though understated, the width and angles of the lines give surprising texture to the minimalist design. They are hand engraved into the signet and this is one of his rare Zodiac pieces.

Jean Després was an artist and jewelry maker known for Art Deco, avant-garde, and Cubist designs. He was influenced by his friendships with Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and other artists in the Montmartre scene in Paris. His work was worn by Josephine Baker, Andy Warhol, Paul Signac, and Andre Malraux, and is in the collections of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He was a renowned silver smith as well, and his designs often featured machine parts and semi-precious stones. 

Circa the 1950’s, this is a rare piece that captures the essence of French Art Deco. The French hallmark for 18k, as well as the maker’s mark for Jean Després, can be found along the band. The ring weighs 9.45 grams; the face of the signet is 7/16” x 9/16”. 

Ring size 7.5

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