Monday, August 24, 2009

If Lockets Could Kill

My favorite part of a James Bond movie--apart from the adrenaline-jolt of the opening sequence--is the visit to Q's lab. An instrument of discrete destruction disguised as an accessory? Fantastic. I'm particularly taken with the pocket-sized gadgets like a handsome killer pen, or rapelling unit hidden in a sleek watch.

So you can imagine my amazement to discover that, on eBay (and presumably elsewhere in the web's vast secondhand sector) is an entire vault's worth of jewelry that, if not exactly licensed to kill, and in no way illegal, nonetheless compels interest in and no little dread about the lady who choses to wear it.

I'm talking about poison rings, which, when pressed at the right point, unlatch to reveal a hidden compartment, which in the bad old days was intended to hold a dose large enough to do permanent damage to the unfortunate victim. There are many recently-made models out there, typically with Goth or satanic stylings, yadda yadda, which are intended purely for show.

Far more intruiging, I think, are the old versions (like the beauty at left). The Victorians apparently made quite a few of them.

Now in fairness, I don't believe those 19th century ladies were all sporting lethal jewelry with the intention to knock off their starch-collared husbands. These rings could as easily act as a holder of keepsakes as holders of arsenic.

Still, pretty cool, in a shuddery kind of way. There aren't many items of dress I could possibly wear in common with Lucrezia Borgia. If I were ever so inclined, I now know which keywords to enter.


  1. Oh I went through this phase as a teen where I was obsessed with poison rings! I really should look into those again!


  2. I somehow feel as though the stroking of a rather large, fluffy and devious looking white cat is in order as one reads through this intriguing post :D

    Seriously though, I can't help but wonder what ladies of yore stashed in these unique rings (snuff comes to mind, if it was more recently like the 70s or 80s, coke). Fascinating post, my dear!

    Wishing you a real gem of a day! :)
    ♥ Jessica

  3. Since I love natural pearls the ring would have caught my eye anyway, it is an absolute stunner. Thanks for the comments, ladies!