“Roman jewellery inspired the centuries following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Roman style rings were still very much in fashion during the Middle Ages. But one new style of ring emerged… the stirrup ring.”
Our stirrup ring is different from the medieval example, more stylised, but still recognisable as a stirrup. Pure lines give way to intensely coloured gems: fuchsia-pink rubies, corn-blue sapphires, emerald-green tsavorites and warm-orange sapphires, set in 18k yellow gold.
Corn blue sapphires
Fuschia pink rubies
Warm orange sapphires
Emerald green tsavorites
The stirrup, an item that many would consider a small and uninteresting piece of equipment used by horse back riders, played a major role and changed the course of history. Stirrups originally were invented in central Asia where fierce nomadic tribes roamed around on horses. China, Korea and Japan started to use stirrups around the 4th-5th century AD. The stirrup made its way to Europe around the 6th or 7th century. The introduction of the stirrup not only made the mounted knight supreme in medieval warfare, but may have initiated complex and far-reaching social and cultural changes in Europe. Few inventions have been so simple as the stirrup, but few have had so catalytic an influence on history.
The European society became dominated by an aristocracy of knights. No wonder the goldsmiths of that time came up with a new design: a ring in the form of a stirrup.