This special little ring is one of the most beautifully hallmarked by two of our iconic early Australian jewellers - Willis and Sons AND T.Gaunt.
Crafted by Willis and Sons this ring would have been retailed by Thomas Gaunt - Bourke Street Melbourne. (See below for history).
Crafted by Willis and Sons, and hallmarked as such, from bright and lush 18ct yellow gold and ‘Gypsy’ set to the centre with an old mine cut diamond of approximately 0.10ct.
Elegant, simplistic in style and crafted meticulously this ring looks and feels wonderful on the finger .. the thick, smoothly contoured and wide shank veritably melts on to the finger and is a pleasure to wear.
Bright and lush both in the colour of the rich yellow 18ct gold and the very bright and white approximately G-H colour and SI diamond this little piece of Australian history with not one but two of our famous early Australian jewellery is a collectors must have!
1 @ approx 0.10ct
7.10mm - tapers slightly then to a 4.1mm shank
‘UNICORN’ / 18 / ‘W’ For Willis and Sons
’T. Gaunt’ For Thomas Gaunt
R or 18.8mm diameter US 8 3/4
Very good to excellent antique condition. Hallmarks are crisp and clear. Diamond is lovely, good colour and clarity, no chips. Ring is solid and thick throughout, no thinning. Very collectible piece of Australian jewellery.
History of Thomas Gaunt, T. Gaunt and Co. - East 1852-1855.
Born in London in 1829 and emigrating to Australia in around 1855, Thomas Gaunt opened his first business at Post Office corner Melbourne. In or around 1870 he moved to his well known corner shop in the Royal Arcade Bourke Street.
Goldsmiths, watchmakers and opticians but perhaps best known as clock and watchmakers, he is especially remembered for his large chronograph that was erected at Flemington Racecourse for the Victoria Racing Club. Used in conjunction for every race at Flemington for the purpose of recording the time, Mr Gaunt would occupy the judge’s box and in his capacity as timekeeper his records were near questioned. (http://Trove.nla.gov.au).
Becoming T. Gaunt and Co Pty Ltd in 1909 and continuing to trade until 1949 when Edments Ltd purchased the whole of the issued capital of T. Gaunt. There are indications in the literature that Angus and Coote took them over in 1979.
History of Willis and Sons
Brothers, Richard & Thomas Willis established their jewellery business in Melbourne in 1858 as importers and wholesalers, at the height of the gold rush in Australia, many family jewellery businesses took advantage of the new found wealth. By 1868, R. & T. Willis were listed in the Melbourne directory as manufacturing jewellers as well as importers.
In 1904, Willis and Co. was incorporated as Willis and Sons Pty Ltd. and were to become the prime manufacturer of gold jewellery in Australia through the 1910s and 20s. By 1908, they had constructed new premises, manufacture and warehouse, at 350-356 Little Collins Street Melbourne.
The twentieth century marks of Willis and Sons Pty Ltd have been in use from 1904. By then their standard marks were a 'Unicorn' a numeral expressing the gold standard plus the capital 'W'. The 'Unicorn' was also used with the abbreviation 'STG.SIL' to mark silverware.