The Remarkable Jewelry Designs of Sergey Zhiboedov
I know this isn’t really a costume history post, but I found these rings today while I was poking around on the internet and they are too amazing not to share!
This is what I always imaged a princess ring would look like! It’s positively stunning: soft and dreamy, but very bold and powerful at the same time. It was designed by Sergey Zhiboedov who, together with his wife Natalia, designs some of the most luxurious Baroque/Art Nouveau jewelry I have ever seen. They look like they were pulled right out of the collections at a museum (or a wonderful dream)!
“Having an extensive fine art background, Sergey combines deep knowledge of art history, refined taste, vivid imagination, and the ability to turn his artistic fantasies and inspirations into accurate and realistic renderings. Some of Sergey’s jewelry pieces are designed by himself, some by me [Natalia]. Our creative collaboration resulted in producing jewelry which can be truly called wearable art. –Etsy Bio”
Some of the pieces are simple and elegant, like this gold thistle ring that reminds me of antique posie (posey) rings:
But my favorites are the sculptural rings that sit high above your finger and demand attention! They are almost too magnificent to be called merely “rings.” They are more like a furishing or your finger: a piece that occupies a space all its own. These rings remind me of antique salt cellars. Okay, so your average salt cellar is not not “furniture” per say, but the salt cellars I am referring to are the sculptural works of art created for kings and nobels between 1200 and the 1780s. These pieces are hardly plain serving dishes! The most famous salt cellar in the world is this magnificent piece created by the master craftsman, Benvenuto Cellini for King François I in 1543.
It is solid gold. SOLID GOLD. And it is breathtaking! When I see it now, I am struck by its similarity to Sergey’s beautiful Caryatid and Atlantid rings which feature a female caryatid on one side a male atlantid on the other:
I certainly can’t afford something as grand as the Cellini Salt Cellar (at $60 million, perhaps only Donald Trump can!), but one of Sergey’s fantastic rings/furishings would be even better and so much more affordable! My favorite ring he’s designed is the “Two Beauties” ring: twin Venuses wraped in drapy gold protecting a bright pearl. I am in love!
I have been being good saving my money, so maybe someday I’ll finally get to own a Baroque masterpiece for myself! Better yet, it will be something I can wear with almost any of my costumes!
All of the pictures in this post have links, so feel free to click on them. You can visit Sergey’s and Natalia’s Etsy store, Winged Lion, here. To learn more about salt cellars, check out this article or investigate the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.