A ring of eternal love
inspired by the famous spouses of La Rochelle
This ring is a tribute to Alexandre and Pernelle Aufrédi who, eight centuries after their time, are still admired for their exceptional charity and their true love. Alexandre Aufrédi was a wealthy ship owner from La Rochelle who decided to send seven galleons from his fleet to Africa in 1196. The salt and wine filling the holds was meant to be used as currency in exchange for gold and silver. But the galleons did not return and the Aufrédi couple, ruined and saddled with debt, fell into poverty. Once respectable and respected nobles, the Aufrédi couple ended up begging in the streets of La Rochelle. Pernelle could have left her husband to his own devices and returned to her parents’ to enjoy the wealth of her status, but she stayed with her husband and shared this ordeal with him. This continued until one morning of 1203, when the galleons entered the port of La Rochelle, loaded with spices, ivory and precious wood. Instead of using their new found fortune for themselves, the Aufrédi couple who were destitute for seven years, decided to finance the construction of a hospital. Legend has it that Alexandre and Pernelle took care of sick people in their hospice for the rest of their lives.
Ruby set on a ring for both men and women:
a promise of happiness inherited from the Middle Ages
Pernelle's ring is one of my original creations. The shape of the hands is inspired by an old cartulary of 1497, where we see Alexander himself, indicating the entrance to his hospice. On this ring, the meeting hands are those of the Aufrédi couple. The red ruby in the middle is a symbol of a fighting spirit, courage and divine love. Red gems, especially rubies, were highly sought after in the Middle Ages. These stones were indeed a popular emblem of happiness. Most rubies came from the East, the alleged origin of Aufrédi's fabulous shipments that made his fortune. These red gems were embedded in what is known as a faith ring, a piece of jewellery worn by both men and women. In its paired version, the faith ring embodies commitment, but also strength and confidence in the union. This ancient couple's ring was commonly worn in Poitou and the West of France. I wanted to bring this part of our historical heritage up to date. In its modern version, I have engraved the following quote on the edge from Catullus' poem 64: "Nullus amor tali coniunxit foedere amantes". It means: "Never has love united two lovers in such beautiful bonds". To me, this verse sums up perfectly the fascinating destiny of the Aufrédi couple. I created this jewel so that locals and travellers could take this sublime moment of history from La Rochelle everywhere with them .
SALE ON ORDER: 130 euros