FINE ART ASIA 2022 Academic Programme

A History of the Ring

Presented by  L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts


Ms Patricia Zilkha, Historian and Gemologist, Lecturer at L’ÉCOLE Asia Pacific, School of Jewelry Arts
Ms Laure Raibaut, Historian, Archaeologist and Curator, Lecturer at L’ÉCOLE Asia Pacific, School of Jewelry Arts

Date: 7 October 2022 (Friday)
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Language: English

This conversation contemplates the different possibilities given by such trivial ornaments: rings, from their marital universal symbols to their heirloom status, displaying power and affiliation. The History of Rings in Europe is the History of both private and public social life. Bearing 3 main common elements: the hoop, the bezel and the shoulder, rings are however embracing many antagonist symbolic aspects that could be addressed to both male and female wearers.

This conversation, alongside the latest exhibition “Men’s Rings, Yves Gastou Collection” dedicated by L’ÉCOLE Asia Pacific in K11 MUSEA, tribute to late French collector Yves Gastou, will first unveil the many functional uses of such jewels. In a second part, the emblems and symbols rings can embody, especially the sentimental messages they convey, will be discussed further to finally consider the status of such pieces: from ornaments to sculptural artefacts, rings are real artistic creations showcasing invention, craftmanship and performance.








Patricia Zilkha is an antique and vintage jewels specialist with a focus on the Victorian era through to the 1970s.  She has been practising her expertise in the field for the last eight years. Lecturer in Art History and Gemology at L’ÉCOLE Asia Pacific, School of Jewelry Arts since 2019, Patricia holds a BA in History from Yale University, an MA in History from the Graduate Institute Geneva and a GG from the Gemological Institute of America. 


Laure Raibaut is a curator and art historian with expertise in Asian and European art. She was trained as an archaeologist and an art historian at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) in London, the Sorbonne in Paris and the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. She started her career in Beijing with Platform China Art Institute and then worked for galleries in New York and Hong Kong, and for auction houses Bonhams and Christie’s. She then worked at the Hong Kong Arts Centre where she curated shows. This led to an expansion in the field of her expertise when she took on the role of Head of Visual Arts for the two festivals Le French May and Lumieres.