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Etruscan style ring

Hi, All- A co-worker just asked me if I could make an “Etruscan” style
ring for her, set with either garnets or rubies. I am not familiar
with this style. What exactly is an “Etruscan” style ring, and can it
be easily fabricated, or is it something that is more easily cast?

Lee Einer

Hello Lee; I love the Etruscans! I’ll bet Benjamin Mark has some
examples on his web site of Etruscan work. The Etruscans were a
culture that pre-dated the Romans and were in the area that was later
to become the center of the Roman Empire. They often held Roman
slaves, in the time before Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders
of the empire that would later become on of the greatest
civilizations of Europe. They were masters of granulation, their
work being largely fabricated in high carat gold. Their figurative
sculpture became the inspiration of Greek sculptors, who, like the
Etruscans, did most of this work in cast bronze. Many of the Roman
sculptures you see today are reproductions of Greek works done
originally in bronze (although the Romans were great artists in their
own right). I would think your co-worker is thinking of some of the
eclectic styles popularized by designers like Loree Rodkin, or
perhaps, Maia Nemanis. If she really wants Etruscan, better go to
the local library and look it up. I would hope that in stead of
copying a design by another, you could distill the essence of the
Etruscan aesthetic and create as if you were a real Etruscan!

David L. Huffman

Etruscan style usually means a high karat ring with some significant
granulation work around bezel set stones (this is a simplification
of course). They are almost always hand built but you might try to
pin her down more on exactly what kind of design she wants. One
person’s Etruscan design might be another person’s art nouveau
design. I would also recommend a trip to your local bookstore for
some books on the subject and if you have a decent museum nearby they
might have some examples of Etruscan work as well.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140