Webster's Dictionary defines a "masterpiece" as "a work done with extraordinary skill or artistic achievement." I have been fortunate enough lately to acquire several jewels which meet this criteria, and I am proud to present the "Masterpiece collection" for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Dating to c.1830-1840, this late Georgian pair of day/night mourning earrings are museum-worthy, highly-wearable jewels! This pair epitomizes all that is so wonderful about the jewelry of the 1830s; they are exquisitely-made from high-karat gold, they are of the day/night variety, and they display swatches of beautifully-woven hair beneath beveled crystals set into their impressive torpedo drops! Measuring 2 7/8" long from the tops of the "day" elements x 1/2" at their widest points, these are the freshest and rarest earrings of this era I could hope to find, and they have made it into the 21st-century in pristine condition, so they qualify for "Masterpiece" status!
Wrought from 15k yellow gold, the tops of the earrings measure 5/8" x 3/8", and feature raised and textured gold work set within an enameled ground (all gold unmarked but tested). The center is also decorated with a flower. The findings are of the "back-to-front" variety, and suspended from the "day" portion are magnificently dramatic drops which boast the gold scroll work seen in much fine jewelry dating to the 1830s. The drops are set with swatches of plaited hair, which are set beneath their original beveled crystals. The crystal is framed with raised and textured gold frames which are deeply engraved in the same manner of the fob seals and miniature cases of this decade, and the surround is enameled in black. HOW SPECIAL IS THAT???
What astounded me the most when I acquired these jewels is their incredible, untouched condition; the fact that they were used as mourning jewels likely ensured that after the proper period of mourning, these earrings were put away for posterity. It is lucky for us that they were; these jewels are as just beautiful today as when they first graced a lady of wealth and fashion in the 1830s! It appears that the hair of two different people were incorporated into these jewels, as one earring displays soft, dove-brown hair, and the other displays a slightly cooler, ash-blond weave. Perhaps this represents the parents of the lady who had these earrings specially commissioned? A brother and sister? Their identity may be lost to history, but these magnificent earrings remain, and are oh-so-wearable! The enamel is also 100% intact from top to bottom, and there are no repairs or losses to these 180-year-old jewels!
Weighing in at 12.87 grams for the pair, these earrings impressed me so much that they have inspired me to write a lecture on the jewelry of the 1830s for next year's jewelry conference! If you love Georgian jewelry as much as I do, these earrings belong in your collection! They will take you to the office to the opera in high style; they look fabulous worn with anything from blue jeans to that special little black dress! They would also make a thrilling gift for any lady fond of the finest in Georgian or sentimental jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this one-of-a-kind Masterpiece; I never expect to find another, up to 90-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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