ANTIQUE AUSTRALIAN C1901 WILLIS & CO RUBY AND SEED PERAL RING ON 15CT GOLD
This wonderful Australian Antique Edwardian Ring, C1901, is made by Willis & Co, features a central plaque, detailed with a single gypsy set Natural Ruby, and is flanked by more Rubies and Seed Pearls to each shoulder, set in glorious 15ct Yellow Gold.
The Rubies are natural and bright, and are a mid crimson colour, the best colour for Rubies to be!
This ring presents in amazing condition, at almost 120 years old, an extremely wearable piece, it looks gorgeous on.
Fully hallmarked for Willis & Co: See History below for more details on this company in Australia.
Stones: Natural Rubies (5 in total) Seed Pearls (4 in total)
Metal: 15ct Yellow Gold
Size: N (6.75 US) Diameter = 17mm = 53mm
Hallmarks: Unicorn, 15 W (This is the Hallmark used by Willis & Sons prior to the Company adopting the Victorian Jewellery Association mark in 1903)
Condition: Excellent Antique Condition
A bit about:
History of Willis & Co (Abridged) from ‘Australiana’ – The Journal of Australian Society.
When Richard and Thomas Willis established their jewellery business in Melbourne, in 1858, as importers and wholesalers scarcely could they have imagined that some fifty years later their successors, Willis and Sons, would have become one of the leading manufacturers of gold jewellery in Australia.
Yet the pattern of development of this family business was not dissimilar to that of other merchants who sensed the opportunities that were to flow from the discovery of gold in the Australian colonies in 1851. By 1868, R. & T. Willis were listed in the Melbourne directory as manufacturing jewellers as well as importers.
In 1876 the firm became T Willis & Co, under the control of Thomas and V.J. Willis. Willis & Co continued to trade as wholesale jewellers and importers of watches, clocks, silver and electroplated wares.
It would seem that Willis & Co were engaged in all aspects of the jewellery trade other than retailing. The firm maintained a presence in London, and later in Birmingham — presumably to assist in their importing activities. In Australia, branches had been opened in Sydney and Perth.
With the coming of Federation in 1901, the newly founded Commonwealth government was to impose customs duties on many imported goods, including jewellery — apparently at levels sufficient to encourage, and no doubt protect, local manufacturers. Increasingly wholesale jewellery firms turned to manufacturing, not least among these was T Willis & Co.
In 1904 Willis & Co was incorporated as Willis and Sons Pty Ltd. Willis and Sons was to become the prime manufacturer of gold jewellery in Australia through the 1910s and 1920s. By 1908 they had constructed new premises - manufactory and warehouse, at 350-356 Little Collins Street, Melbourne. A vast array of jewellery was produced in 9, 15 and 18 carat gold, and in silver, until the closure of their manufactory in 1931, in the midst of the Great Depression, when the company reverted to importing.