Personal collection highlight – mid-century gothic

mid-century gothic ring - photo by rjxp

To me, this piece is both bread and cake.  This is a cocktail ring of my mother’s from the 1950’s.  A cocktail ring is the epitome of personal adornment snack food — unnecessary and purely decorative.  But, as it was my mother’s, it is among my prized possessions and it carries with it shadows of a time in my mother’s life before I was born … a time that, when I imagine it, is black and white and rose-scented.

The ring itself was made with an incredible attention to detail.  I cannot find any legible maker’s mark but it says it is sterling silver and it must have been cast.  A jeweler has told me that the stones are glass or rhinestone and they sit in closed seats that are visible from the back.


I describe the style of this ring as “mid-century gothic.”  For me, it is an attractive style because I find it so evocative.  I find that I have a large mental archive of images that are examples of that style.  I see jewel tones, pearl buttons, heavy candle holders, and those lace doilies that women had to wear on their heads when they went to mass.  I have looked up that term, which I sort of thought I made up, and it seems that there other items out there described with the words “mid-century gothic” although not necessarily in that order.  A google image search brings up quite a few products — largely home decor items such as these:

Perhaps, a little piece of jewelry can be so strongly evocative of a style for me because this was the living room of the house in which I grew up.  (Note: This photo was taken in 2009.)

Yeah, just let that sink in …

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