Cast Gold and Enamel Gimmel Fede Ring circa 1607. Courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum.
In her book on rings Diana Scarisbrick describes a rare variation:
The rarest and most valuable gimmel rings also contain, hidden within cavities underneath the stones, figures of a baby and a skeleton, symbolic of the beginning and end of life. These memento mori figures relate to the biblical warning against the vanities of worldly life: ‘We brought nothing into this world and it is certain that we carry nothing out’ (I Timothy 6:7 and Job 1:21) 1
- Edwards, Charles. The History and Poetry of Finger-Rings. New York. Redfield, 1855. LaVergne, TN. Kessinger Publishing’s Legacy Reprints, 2010.
- Scarisbrick, Diana. Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty. London: Thames & Hudson, Ltd., 2007.