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David Webb Rock Crystal and Hammered Gold Bombé Ring


Dating from the 1960s-1970s, this hammered 18K gold and rock crystal bombé ring was created by David Webb, New York. The ring is set with a high domed rock crystal cabochon with a faceted pavilion above a hammered gold mount with an obliquely ribbed high-relief surface.  Oversize and playful, this bold volumized ring belongs to the firm’s collection of “solid gold fun” jewels, Webb’s exuberant and modern take on the beauty and timelessness of ancient handmade gold work.


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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: R-20631
Artist: David Webb, New York
Country: United States
Circa: 1960s-1970s
Size: 6; (this ring can be sized; please contact the gallery for further information)
Materials: Rock crystal cabochon measuring approximately (22.69 x 18.65 x 16.25 mm) ; Hammered 18K gold
Signed: WEBB 18K

As a designer David Webb had his eye not only on new York but also on Paris, and credited Jeanne Toussaint of Cartier as an inspiration for his animal jewelry, while, clearly, her glamorous bombé rings also captured his imagination. Combined with this, Webb also enthusiastically responded to innovations in culture and science in the contemporary world around him in New York. In the 1960s, he created numerous, highly imaginative domed rings. One, produced in 1965, was patterned after Buckminster Fuller’s innovative geodesic dome, versions of which were shown at the MOMA in 1952 and the World’s Fair in 1964. This ebullient high-domed ring playfully explores the properties of rock crystal, which has fascinated artists from ancient times with its mysterious and paradoxical qualities. For example, it is often free from visible inclusions and appears as transparent as glass, yet we cannot not see through it clearly, as its crystal structure affects the path of light and alters the images we can perceive on the other side. Webb understood well that a straightforward cabochon would not address his purposes, as light would escape through the back. This cabochon therefore has a faceted pavilion, ensuring that more light returns to the eye, and cleverly employing the optical qualities of the rock crystal to create the appearance of an ice-like, luminescent dome.