British jewelry designer Theo Fennell has been dreaming up bespoke and bejeweled pieces since 1982. Initially introduced into the dazzling world of jewelry as an ambitious apprentice to a silversmith, he has spent decades perfecting his precious craft. With an artistic eye and a focus on the avant-garde, he believes that jewelry “should give a thrill of pleasure every time it is looked at or worn”—an admirable approach that is evident in all of his glistening creations. What truly stands out most for its originality, imagination, and pleasant surprises in Fennell’s long list of creations is his whimsical collection of one-of-a-kind “Opening Rings.”
With gemstones like diamonds, emeralds, and opals set in bands of gold, the pretty pieces are undeniably classic in composition. However, as part of Fennell’s Masterworks collection—a line of jewelry that is “absolutely original [and] astonishingly designed and crafted”—each Opening Ring is clearly not your standard piece of jewelry. Featuring tiny figures, intricate relief drawings, and even decorative typography, the rings are beautiful at first glance. However, while the exterior of each piece is eye-catching enough, it’s what’s inside that makes them particularly enchanting.
Each quirky ring has a few tricks up its sleeve. Tiny doors and moveable gates reveal secret compartments and dainty illustrations, from gorgeous gardens to a vividly detailed yellow-brick road. Seemingly stationary baubles retract, revealing sweet scenes that span a rainbow-shroud pot of gold and charming characters from The Wind in the Willows. Undeniably alluring and delightfully mysterious, each Opening Ring is a special kind of statement piece.
While the ornamental objects cost a pretty penny (up to $30,000), Fennell holds that the enchanting rings are “true works of art that simply have no comparison anywhere else.” And, after exploring the rings’ ins-and-outs, who can argue with that?
Be sure to ogle Fennells’ other awe-inspiring Masterwork creations, including brilliant brooches, unique charms, and necklaces.
All images via Theo Fennell.