The renowned British jewelry designer Theo Fennell has created a series of four elaborate one-of-a-kind rings featuring hidden compartments, reminiscent of the famous 16th-century European poison rings that concealed a toxic substance to be used on one’s enemies. (Later these small treasure boxes held locks of hair or miniature portraits.) Fennell’s Opening Rings puts his own artistic vision on this age-old concept. The designer collaborated with the sculptor Willard Wiggan to create the Empty Quarter ring ($257,000), which features a three-dimensional gold desert with sand dunes and three camels, set in an ornate ring decorated with diamond flower blossoms and rose-gold salamanders. Like the three other jeweled works of art in the series, the ring comes in a specially designed case that is in keeping with its theme. The Empty Quarter ring is encased in a box inspired by a Bedouin tent that comes with a jeweled magnifying glass for a closer look at the intricate details of the design.
The Emerald City ring ($197,000)—inspired by The Wizard of Oz—features an enameled yellow-brick road on the outside and opens to reveal nearly a dozen miniature towers carved in a 13-carat Zambian emerald. The Chinese Secret Garden ring ($73,000) is topped with bright-green tourmaline, and its sides are engraved with cherry blossoms. The ring opens to reveal hand-painted scenes of cranes and Chinese mythological figures that symbolize health and longevity. The striking 64-carat aquamarine stone on the tropical-themed Hermitage ring ($42,000) is meant to reflect the ocean, and it opens to reveal a ruby-and-rose-gold hermit crab. Hand-engraved seahorses, coral, turtles, and fish decorate the sides of the ring.
For Fennell, who started his eponymous business in 1982 and is one of London’s most famous jewelry designers, the collection reveals personal stories and the epitome of jewelry artisanship and artistry. (+44.20.7591.5000, www.theofennell.com)