DEALER & DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT
Bespoke Slashed Gloves Paired with Original Renaissance Rings at Les Enluminures
Sandra Hindman, owner of Les Enluminures gallery (Paris, Chicago, and New York) has teamed up with French couture glove-maker, Mary Beyer, to present “Bespoke Slashed Gloves and Renaissance Rings,” in a special exhibition titled RENAISSANCE GLOVES AND RINGS from July 9 -13 at the new LES ENLUMINURES gallery (www.lesenluminures.com) at 23 East 73 Street in New York. Ms. Hindman says “This is a wonderful and unique opportunity to buy an amazing Renaissance ring and to show it off with a bespoke ‘slashed’ glove just the way trendsetters in the Renaissance wore them. What a great fashion statement – one that combines the old and the new in such a novel way.”
“Bespoke Slashed Gloves” were inspired by Renaissance trendsetters eager to show off their favorite finger rings which generally incorporated luxurious gem stones and gold.
According to Hindman, “During the Renaissance finger rings functioned not only as self-adornment but they symbolized status of the men and women who wore them. Gloves had more practical purposes, but they also became an important status symbol during the sixteenth century.
“Anxious to display her wealth and assert her prestige, the aristocratic woman was faced with the dilemma of how to wear both her rings and her gloves. One solution was simply to wear the rings over the fabric of the gloves. Some paintings show such a fashion.
“However, by the 1520s another clever solution came into vogue: fashion designers created “slashed” gloves, that is, gloves that had fabric cut open in order to reveal the rings worn on the fingers under the gloves. None of these gloves survive today, but at least four portraits by Lucas Cranach and other Renaissance painters from the 1520s and 1530s show their sitters wearing this latest fashion of slashed gloves over their many rings – on all the fingers, as well as on the thumb.”
At the Les Enluminures gallery, which opened in New York in May, visitors will find both Renaissance rings for sale and similarly inspired “Slashed Gloves” -- in four sizes, four different colors, and with different cuffs.
The Renaissance Gloves for sale at Les Enluminures were made by Mary Beyer, whose unique atelier in the Palais Royale Gardens attracts Hollywood and couture legends. The “spiritual daughter” of renowned couture glove makers of Millau, Lavabre Cadet, Mary Beyer has, with their blessing, spent more than a decade injecting new energy and imagination into the world of couture glove making. She is a member of the top artisan guilds and sits on the board of the Foundation Bettancourt Schueller which annually recognizes achievements for the “Intelligence of the Hand.”
Hindman says, “These ‘Renaissance’ gloves make it possible for today’s modern women to wear their gloves and display their rings simultaneously – exactly as Renaissance women did. The bespoke glove-maker boasts long experience in the fashion world; the gloves themselves are made in the southern French town of Millau, a town which has remained the center of glove-making from the Middle Ages to the present day.”
Among highlights at the RENAISSANCE GLOVES AND RINGS exhibition at Les Enluminures is a Renaissance Intaglio Ring made of enamel and agate from 16th century Italy; an Italian Renaissance Spinel Ring made of enamel and dating to 1550; A Renaissance Cameo Ring of Hercules and Omphale, circa 1600 (band modern); and a Renaissance Diamond Cluster Ring, from Spain, circa 1600.
Hindman says, “The Spanish Renaissance Diamond Ring is a very pretty substantial ring set in a cluster, like a bouquet of flowers, with multiple diamonds of a grayish hue. The largest is in a box setting in the middle, and three others are on either side. Delicate beading and scalloping surrounds each of the seven stones.
“The substantial Cameo ring with a double portrait of a man and a woman is likely to be Hercules and Omphale. Cameos were often worn in rings and mythological scenes were among the favorite subjects of these fine, delicate sculptures that were highly prized by collectors from ancient times onwards.
“The very large and colorful Renaissance Intaglio Ring, with traces of blue, green, red, white and black enamel, is set with an agate intaglio portrait of a man in profile in a high octagonal bezel. The rear of the bezel is sculpted in the form of a rosette with a center square enameled in red.
“The gold, enamel and Spinel Renaissance Gemstone Ring stands out as an excellent example of how different the Renaissance taste in rings was from that of the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, the value of the stone mattered little. It was its symbolism that counted. In the Renaissance, the stone became one of the central concerns.”
Hindman adds, “This is a wonderful and unique opportunity to buy an amazing real Renaissance ring (or several) and to show it off with a bespoke “Renaissance” glove. What a fashion statement – one that combines in an unusual way the old and the new!” The gloves are being offered for sale on a custom order basis at the Les Enluminures gallery.
Since 1991, the gallery Les Enluminures of Paris, Chicago (business office only), and now New York, has sold high quality Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, illuminated pages, and rings to private and museum clients worldwide. Among museum clients are the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the National Gallery of Art (in Washington D.C.), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gallery recently sold the Book of Hours of King Francis I to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a manuscript that realized more than a half a million dollars in auction. Museum clients who have recently purchased rings from Les Enluminures include the Musee du Louvre, the Cluny Museum, the British Museum, and Trinity College Library (Dublin).
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