Christies to auction Jurgen Abeler ancient ring collection
An unusual offering from Christie's in
South Kensington: 500 rings from the collection of Jürgen Abeler,
from Wuppertal in Germany. This historical masterclass in jewellery
styles offers early rings from ancient Egypt and Rome, through to
the most arresting contemporary designs.
Don't miss the 16th century signet
ring of Johann Ernst von Sachsen, related to Anne of Kleve (Cleves)
(1515-1554), wife of Henry VIII, King of England (1491-1547), or
the mourning rings for Vice Admiral Nelson, killed at the Battle of
Trafalgar and the composer George Frideric Handel.
Jürgen Abeler (1933-2010) followed the family tradition and
became a goldsmith and watchmaker. As a small boy he was an avid
collector, initially obsessing over cigarette cards, stamps, beer
mats and minerals. He later progressed into watches and,
eventually, opened the Wuppertal Watch Museum. The private museum
housed more than 40,000 items and captured Abeler's eclectic
enthusiasm for collecting - everything from crowns and insignia,
menus to wine labels and, of course, rings.
Abeler's interest in rings was first sparked when his
grandmother gave him a book about them for a Christmas present when
he was in his early 20s. Inspired by the author of the book, Heinz
Battke, Abeler collected rings from diverse sources and locations,
including auctions, antiques shops, private sales and trips abroad.
In Abeler's own words, he wished to create "...a coherent,
comprehensive overview about the whole topic up to (the) modern
Some of the rings will be included
in the auction held on 9 October, while the Antiquities sale on 25
October will feature over 40 important ancient rings. With
estimates starting from only £200, this is a sale that will appeal
to a wide range of jewellery lovers. Some are valuable ancient
artefacts, while others are highly wearable and show Abeler's keen
collector's eye. All lots will be on view from 5 to 8 October 2012
at Christie's South Kensington saleroom on 85 Old
Brompton Road, London.