Bague à l’Enfantement
Two innovations in French jewellery design in the latter part of the 18th century were firmament and enfantement rings, designed respectively to celebrate the good news that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were expecting an heir and then to celebrate the birth of the Dauphin. Whereas firmament rings had numerous small diamonds applied like stars to a coloured ground, the enfantement ring had one large diamond in the centre within a surround of smaller diamonds.
From a contemporary fashion source : A large diamond, a large brilliant stone is put in the middle of an oval, squared or lozenged ground. If the stone is rather strong, it is put alone in the middle of the composition. The lozenge settings have four sharp points and are surrounded by smaller diamonds. The grounds can be green, blue, violet, puce, yellow or grey.
This enfantement ring is high carat gold, the curved shank supporting a head set with a lozenge of vibrant foiled cobalt blue glass surmounted by a large foiled rose-cut diamond and within a surround of old-cut diamonds, set silver. It is size N and 1/2 [US 6 and 3/4] and the head of the ring measures one inch by half an inch. Very fine quality, original and immaculate.
Details from a portrait of Marie Antioinette wearing firmamament and enfantement rings
Designs for firmament and enfantement rings