Moshe Oved Anthropomorphic Ring
This is a special ring. A Moshe Oved gold figural ring modelled as a stylised bull, circa 1940’s. Moshe Oved [1885 – 1958], a Polish-Jewish émigré, was the charismatic owner of the Bloomsbury antique shop, Cameo Corner. Oved’s reputation for selling rare and unusual jewellery attracted a rich, royal and colourful clientele which included Queen Mary and Rudolph Valentino. Oved was an equally colourful character dressed in a purple velvet robe and wearing an imposing amethyst pendant. He was an authority on cameos as well as a poet, writer and sculptor. During the war while sheltering in the basement of the shop during the Blitz, he first began modelling rings to steady his trembling hands. His unique anthropomorphic jewellery is highly sought after today – a charming menagerie of animals and birds displaying human characteristics. This Oved ring ring comes by descent from its original owner. On the occasion of her 21st birthday, her father, a friend of Oved’s, took her to Cameo Corner to choose a birthday gift. Oved questioned her closely to ascertain which particular form of animal ring would suit the girl’s personality and instructed her father to purchase this ring for her. The ring is size L [US 5 and 1/2] and the little bull is one inch tall. It is engraved on the base :
Take a vow engrave it deep
Beauty to plow glory to reap.
The ring is in its original Cameo Corner box. A beguiling, tactile and surprisingly comfortable ring. For a parallel example of an Oved anthropomorphic ring, see catalogue entry 552 in Scarisbrick’s Historic Rings.
A tray of Moshe Oved’s figural rings in Cameo Corner, circa 1960
Moshe Oved ring designs in the Ben Uri Museum.