Collectable Stanhope Ring


Our Victorian 15ct Yellow Gold Stanhope Ring with enamel work and image of mother and 2 children in scroll is a true treasure, come and view the image for yourself and see all of our other incredible collectable antiques in store now!

Stanhope jewellery has a fascinating history that is closely tied to the Victorian era and the development of miniature photography. While René Dagron is credited with the invention of Stanhope jewellery in 1857, the concept evolved over time and became popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Here are some key points in the history of Stanhope jewellery:

  • Rise in Popularity during the Victorian Era: Stanhope jewellery became particularly popular during the Victorian era, a period known for its sentimental and romantic jewellery. These miniature devices allowed people to carry tiny photographic mementos with them, often featuring portraits, landscapes, or other sentimental images.
  • Diverse Applications: Stanhope lenses were incorporated into various types of jewellery, including rings, charms, pendants, and even walking sticks. They were used to view microphotographs that could be as small as a pinhead. The images were typically magnified and illuminated by the convex lens, providing a novel and intimate viewing experience.
  • Themes and Subjects: The microscopic photographs featured in Stanhope jewellery covered a wide range of subjects. Common themes included romantic scenes, religious imagery, famous landmarks, and portraits of notable figures. Some pieces were made as souvenirs, commemorating specific events or places.
  • Technological Advances: As technology progressed, the quality of the microphotographs improved. Initially, black and white images were common, but later, colored photographs were also used. The images were often meticulously crafted to fit within the tiny space available.
  • Continued Popularity into the 20th Century: While Stanhope jewellery reached its peak during the late 1800s, it continued to be produced into the early 20th century. The appeal of these miniature viewing devices endured as people appreciated the novelty and sentimental value of having a tiny, portable photo album.
  • Collector’s Items: Today, Stanhope jewellery is sought after by collectors of antique and vintage jewellery. The pieces are valued not only for their historical significance but also for the craftsmanship involved in creating these intricate and tiny works of art.

Overall, Stanhope jewellery represents a unique intersection of photography, technology, and sentimental expression during the Victorian era. The miniature lenses allowed individuals to carry cherished memories and images in a discreet and fashionable manner.

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Stanhope ring
Collectable Stanhope Ring