Dating to c.1825 for the pinchbeck torpedo drops and c.1865 for the solid 15k gold Maltese cross-motif tops, this pair of earrings are proof that some marriages are made in Heaven!
Measuring 2 3/4" long from the tops of the ear wires x just under 1/2" at their widest points, these earrings are not only gorgeous on the ear, but tell a story of inheritance which has ensured their survival into the 21st century! The torpedo drops are Georgian in date, and are wrought from pinchbeck, the gold substitute invented by Sir Christopher Pinchbeck c.1720. So successful was this alloy of 87% copper and 13% zinc that the "recipe" for this alloy was kept a family secret for generations. Genuine pinchbeck boasts the color and heft of 20k gold, but does not wear through like rolled gold or gold-filled jewelry. The invention of the electroplating process in 1840 sounded the death knell for this alloy, as it was far less expensive to produce. Today, pinchbeck jewelry has become collectible in its own right!
These gorgeous drops are beautifully-textured, and feature applied gold scrollwork as well as cast rosettes all around the drops! The tops of the earrings date to c.1860-1870, and were likely added to these jewels in order to bring them "up to date" by the daughter of the original owner. These lovely Maltese crosses measure 11 mm square, have a matte 20k wash, and are decorated with golden bead work and tiny textured chains in the center in Etruscan Revival style. Whomever chose these tops in the 1860s could not have done a better job of matching them to the drops; if not for the fact that the tops are solid 15k gold, one might think that they were the late-Georgian originals (all gold unmarked but tested)! The tops also retain their original kidney-hook wires. SO BEAUTIFUL!
Best of all, these jewels have made it through over 150 years in exquisite condition, with no damage to the tops or drops! These jewels will take you from the office to the opera in high Georgian style, and look fabulous worn with anything from blue jeans to that little black dress! Together, the earrings weigh in at 8.65 grams. if you collect the finest in Georgian or Victorian jewelry, these beauties belong in your collection! They wold also make a stellar gift for any lady fond of historic jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this rare pair; up to 90-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
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