ANTIQUE c1910 AUSTRALIAN SAPPHIRE & DIAMOND RING BY WILLIS & CO ON 15ct YELLOW GOLD
This delightful Edwardian ring by Willis & Co c1910 is a wonderful example of Edwardian design, featuring a bead set Australian Sapphire flanked by 2 Old Mine Cut Diamonds on an ornate boarder surround featuring hand engraved etched work to chevron engraved shoulders rising to a flat band.
Beautifully handcrafted in 15ct Yellow Gold, the Gold standard at the time of Manufacture, and features very good hallmarks for Willis & Co in Excellent condition.
Stones: 1 x Natural Blue Sapphire 2 x Old Mine Cut Diamonds
Size: Q (8.25 US) Diameter = 18.25mm Circumference = 57mm
This ring is able to be resized
Metal: 15ct Yellow Gold
Hallmarks: Unicorn Head, 15, Fleece
Weight: 3.92 grams
Condition: In excellent condition stones are unabraded and securely in their settings, band is original width throughout
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.
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