The soft glow of candlelight and the antique elegance of a French palace seem captured here in these oh-so-lovely and oh-so-versatile earrings. Something about Georgian gold just glows – perhaps it is simply a reflection of the amazing craftsmanship put into these earrings and other elite pieces from the time. The earrings, even with their nighttime dangles are incredibly light, as was typical for the time and shows the delicate touch of the creator. Hand wrought glass pearls (so much rarer and more difficult to make than the faux pearls of today) give extra dimension to the glow, the shimmer of the earrings. Two sets of earrings in one, any fine Parisian lady of the 1820s would have been delighted to own these! During the day the smaller top halves of the earrings could be worn, giving a subtle but definitely noticeable glow to the fine silks, laces, and ribbons of her costume. At night she could slip the dangles on, and add a more dramatic flair, knowing that the bright glow and movement of the dangles would be sure to catch the eye of any man she chose. The gold, the pearls, the gentle curves and swells of the design, all would have served to accentuate the long curve of her neck (indeed, making it appear longer) and draw the eye to her elegant coiffure above. What balls, what dinners, what palaces and what country homes these earrings saw we may never know, but the fact they have survived at all, and in such great condition, can only be considered a godsend for the fashion of today. As ready to enchant as they were 200 years ago, these long but so very light beauties await only another perfect candlelit evening to shine again.
Condition: Very good to excellent antique condition. All original, no repairs or alterations. Three or four of the small glass pearls have lost part or all of their lustrous outer shell, but the rest are in lovely condition. The day earrings measure ¾" by a little over ½", the night dangles are 1 ¼" by ¾", giving a combined length of 2". Both day earrings have the small ram's head mark which is the hallmark for Paris, France, from 1819-1838 (which, it being such a rare mark, I have examined microscopically to be absolutely sure of it). The picture with the red square is pointing out the hallmark on one earring (as close as I can get it) and the last picture is a closeup of the hallmark from a book. The hallmarks place them firmly in Paris in the late Georgian era, from 1819-1838, although the style, construction, materials, etc. all indicate that it is on the earlier part of that time frame. Back to front closures are in very good condition, but I like to stress that this type of closure is inherently delicate, and no matter how amazing the condition of a piece, any back to front earrings must be treated with a gentle hand.
References: For the ram's head 18 kt gold mark, see Guide to Gold Marks of the World, by Jan Divis, page146. For more information on day night earrings, back to front closures, and Georgian gold work, see the marvelous book Georgian Jewellery, 1714-1830, by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings, with particular attention to pages 32-33, 106-107, and 114.
Item ID: 0099
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