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Bague Au Firmament Rings

What Is a Bague Au Firmament Ring?

The phrase ‘Bague au Firmament’, translating to ‘Ring of the Heavens’, first emerged in France during the Georgian Era. This style refers to rings that are intended to evoke the night sky, featuring blue enamel or glass and often set with diamonds and white pearls to represent a cluster of stars.

Georgian Celestial Jewellery

To give you some background reference to the popularity of this ring we must discuss the Georgian’s obsession with celestial jewellery. The popularity of celestial Georgian jewellery coincided with the ‘Age of Enlightenment’; a period of time in European 18th century (1650-1780) where many began to question the established beliefs of the church in favour of scientific proof. This intellectual and cultural movement occurred over a century after Galileo’s scientific discoveries of outer space, yet Georgians were truly gripped by his discoveries. As a result, interest in astronomy and the celestial universe had never been more popular, with the fascination eventually passed down to the fingertips of jewellers who created celestial-themed pieces such as the bague au firmament.

Bague Au Firmament Rings
Bague Au Firmament Brooch
Bague Au Firmament

Bague Au Firmament Meaning

The style, as the name suggests, is intended to evoke the night sky. In terms of alternative meaning, it could be suggested that the ring symbolises the wonder of the unknown, and magical elements of the night sky.

Historically, it is often suggested that the bague au firmament was created in celebration of the news that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were expecting an heir, and the later creation of the ‘bagues a l’enfantement’ to celebrate the birth. It is more accurately thought that the style reflects the cultural movement of the time, yet it is safe to say the queen consort of France certainly boosted its popularity as a pregnancy gift!

Bague Au Firmament Rings
Bague Au Firmament Ring
Bague Au Firmament Cocktail Ring

Bague Au Firmament History

As forementioned, Marie Antoinette really led the popularity of this French style of jewellery. She was famously known for wearing her own bague au firmament almost every day, and is depicted in portraits such as the 1785 Wertmüller portrait wearing both her bague au firmament and her bagues a l’enfantement.

Bagues A l’Enfantement

If you’ve been reading this thinking ‘but what is an bagues a l’Enfantement?’ Translating to ‘childbirth rings’, the ring is of a similar celestial style to the bague au firmament, and often mistakenly identified as each other. In simple terms, it’s thought that rings with scattered diamonds or pearls are identified as the ring of heavens, whilst the childbirth ring is typically set around one feature gemstone.

Bague Au Firmament Bangle
Bague Au Firmament Locket
Bague Au Firmament

Of course, the style is interpreted in many ways by many different jewellers over time but we hope this helps explain the wonders of this Georgian celestial piece! We are proud to have many celestial pieces that evoke this distinctive Georgian style within our inventory of brooches, lockets and rings.

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International Federation of Art and Antique Dealer Associations CINOA
National Association of Jewellery UK's trade association NAJ