Vintage: Sterling Silver Ring Box by the Legendary - Mappin & Webb
This beautiful, Art Deco period, sterling silver ring box is by Mappin and Webb (circa 1920/30). The square shaped box, which looks like a tiny present just waiting to be opened, is adorned with an engine turned pinstripe and a round cartouche.
The cartouche is empty, providing the perfect opportunity to create your own heirloom: consider a beautifully scripted initial or a monogram in an Art Deco font. The inside lip gives the appearance of weight and adds that extra touch of opulence.
It makes a lovely engagement ring presentation box, or a beautiful addition to your bedside table. Use it to display and store a favorite ring.
Dimensions & Details
- The box is sterling silver.
- The outside dimensions are a little over 1 1/3 inches by 1 1/3 inches.
Period & Hallmarks
- Circa 1920/30.
- Marked Sterling on the bottom of the box.
- Maker's mark: Mappin & Webb
- The outside is in overall good condition for its age. There are surface scratches and a handful of tiny dings that are minor and may not show up in the pictures, but may catch the light when the box is moved from side to side.
- The inside is in good vintage condition. While it is not mint, it is still quite pretty. There is wear to the velvet cushion. The imprint to the silk is starting to fade, and what one would expect to see in a box from the 1920's that is in its original condition (not redone or relined).
About the Retailer of this Box: Richard Hemsley Limited
The inside has its original velvet ring cushion in khaki and the top is lined with the original cream silk lining imprinted with Richard Hemsley Limited Montreal. Hemsley, established in 1870 in Quebec, was a watchmaker and jeweler. He started out in America and was one of the first to take up enameling according to a story about him published in the Jeweler's Circular (1920).
The retailer (e.g. Hemsley, Tiffany) would often order its silver ring boxes by others (e.g. Mappin & Web, Birks) that also made the silver ring boxes for their own inventory as well. If this is the case, you may find (sometimes, not always) the retailer imprinted on the inside silk lining and the maker's mark on the bottom of the box (again sometimes, not always).
About the Maker of this Box: Mappin & Webb
If you are not familiar with Mappin & Webb they are a well-known luxury jewelry boutique in England. They are often mentioned in the same breadth as S.J. Phillips, Bentley & Skinner and other jewelers located on Bond, Old Bond, and Regent Street in London.
Some highlights in their History: Mappin & Webb was established in 1775 by Jonathan Mappin (Sheffield, England ). In 1864, the firm became Mappin & Webb. In 1897, Queen Victoria granted Mappin & Webb a royal warrant. In 2012, Mappin & Webb's master craftsman was appointed crown jeweler.
Mappin and Webb is known for its silver novelties, silverware, and beautifully crafted modern and antique jewels. While the firm has changed hands since its beginning, it still exists today and continues to sell beautifully crafted jewelry and silver.
About Vintage and Antique Silver Ring Boxes
From the late 1800's into the mid 20th century, when a engagement ring or other "important" ring was purchased at a luxury jewelry store (Tiffany, Birks among others), a sterling silver ring box was often included.
These petite silver treasures came in many shapes and sizes: rectangles, squares, rounds, ovals, hexagons, hearts, etc. The bottom portion was usually lined in velvet, silk, or mohair and the top was sometimes lined in silk and often imprinted with the retailer's name.
If you are interested in reading more about the jewelry terms or decorative periods referenced throughout our site, visit our Resources section for additional information.
Find out how to care for your collection of antique and modern jewels: visit our Jewelry Care page to get advice on maintaining and storing your treasured pieces.
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