A winning hand

A winning hand

This is one of those Grail rings I never thought I’d find and examples of which I have admired in reference books for years. An 18th century ring, circa 1760, mirroring the amusements of society in the form of a winning hand of cards at the gaming table. In the 18th century Britain was a nation addicted to gaming. The capital was fit to burst with gaming houses where play continued around the clock and card tables were a staple of private house parties, assembly rooms, gentlemen’s clubs and spa resorts. Huge stakes were wagered on games of dice and cards and four figure losses were not uncommon.

From The Aristocrats by Stella Tillyard : Dawn broke over the city. Ladies and gentlemen back from balls and masquerades flopped into bed. But the clubs of St. James’s were still crowded. Young men sat at baize-topped tables, piles of guineas to one side of them. In front of them and in their hands were cards. By the morning hours only these inveterate gamblers were left at the tables , men who lost [and occasionally won] hundreds or thousands of pounds in a night.

This winning hand ring is executed in enamel, emeralds and rose-cut diamonds, set to a decorative gold hoop . It is size K and 1/2 [US 5 and 3/8].   For similar winning card rings, see examples illustrated below in Chadour’s and Scarisbrick’s publications. 


Similar examples below in Chadour and Scarisbrick