Verdura ring, highly textured 18K gold set with teardrop shaped turquoises and a convex center of pave diamonds, marked
Arthur & Bond, the fine art gallery, dealers in high-class curios, antiques and modern, was located at No. 38 Water Street, Yokohama, Japan. They had two branches, one located at 90 Concession, Kobe, Japan, and another located at 52 St. Mary Axe, London E.C.. They also had London Correspondents, Henry. S. King & Co. and American Agent, G. W. Sheldon & Co..
Their business card describes;
The Fine Art Gallery is one of the Sights of Yokohama and contains some of the most superb pieces of both modern & Ancient Art Workmanship in the country, embracing Gold Lacquer, Chased, hammered and inlaid Metal Works, Ivory Carvings, Embroideries, Cloisonne, Porcelain, Kakemono, Screens, Cabinets, so, so.
Visitors to Japan are cordially invited to inspect our collection, and will find all articles marked in Plain Figures at Moderate Prices. No troouble to show Goods.
They catered mainly to English expatriates and foreign travelers. They appear to have been retailers and manufacturers of a wide variety of goods, including Gold Lacquer, Chased, hammered and inlaid Metal Works, Ivory Carvings, Embroideries, Cloisonne, Porcelain, Kakemono, Screens, Cabinets.
They were a retailer but also an active manufacturer to employ local silversmiths. We can see some of their surviving products, like various pieces of silver including a Swiss watch with a Japanese silver case with their name on it. Among them the most famous and monumental product is the Liscum Bowl which was made by Japanese silversmiths employed by them in 1902.
ROBERT NAUGHTEN Inverness, Scotland
“Kildonan Celtic” brooch 1869
Gold with a cabochon garnet, designed as a quatrefoil with long-billed birds, rose-cut diamond eyes.
Inscribed on reverse: Kildonan 1869, R, Naughten, Inverness, From Celtic Brooch, Cadboll, 1869, British registry marks
This brooch is based on the quatrefoil-form extremities of the large penannular Cadboll brooch (8th & 9th Century)
Model illustrated and for more information see: “Scottish Gold and Silver Work” Ian Finlay, p. 15, plate 6
Eugenio Avolio, sculptor (1876-1929) Naples
*** This ring is illustrated in the catalogue raisonne “Kevin Coates, A Hidden Alchemy, Goldsmithing: Jewels and Table-Pieces” by Kevin Coates, Elizabeth Goring, Arnoldsche, 2008, No. 287.R.96
Known for his technical brilliance and the symbolic imagery of his work, Kevin Coates is considered by many to be Britain’s leading artist-goldsmith. A true Renaissance Man, Coates is also a musician specializing in the baroque mandolin and has performed in concerts and recitals throughout Europe as well as a mathematician; his PhD thesis was titled, A study of the use of Geometry and Proportional systems in the Art of Lutherie. He focuses on the spiritual meanings of jewelry and draws inspiration from music, theater, painting, literature and mathematics. Neither exclusively modern nor wholly traditional, Coates’ work dazzles us with its technical virtuosity and inspires us with its symbolic imagery. He was an artist in residence at the Wallace Collection in 2011, where he had an exhibition entitled, Time Regained. His most recent exhibition, A Bestiary of Jewels was on view at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University from January through March, 2014.
These impressive and rare dragon rings have been a feature of all the great ring collections, including the Harari, Guilhou, Spitzer, Franks, and Koch collections. They are known as ‘Naga rings’ because they are thought to represent the naga dragon which is thought to have sheltered the Buddha during a prolonged period of meditation. Chadour suggests that these rings were made for Royalty. The extravagant design certainly re-enforces the idea that they were made for lavish ceremonial use. Another example is in the British Museum.