I am back from my UK buying trip, and have brought back a treasury of early, investment-quality jewels for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Dating to c.1740-1750, these early Georgian silver gilt earrings in classic black jet were a MUST-HAVE for the mid-18th century lady of fashion! Earrings of this style, materials (jet or paste) and date (pre-1760) are referred to as "Queen Anne," in keeping with the style of decorative arts, but it is somewhat erroneous, as Queen Anne only reigned from 1702-1714. Whatever the reference, these spectacular earrings have survived over 275 years in all-original, wearable condition!
Measuring 1" in diameter, these rare survivals are wrought from two faceted plaques of black jet, claw-set and backed with silver gilt, and retaining their original "snap" findings! The plaques are further secured with 12 silver gilt prongs (silver fire-gilded with high-karat gold; all metals unmarked but tested). The reverse of the earrings reveal the ornate silver gilt hinges and loops to the reverse. At one time, an "urban jewelry legend" referred to these double-loops as "wig loops," inferring that the weight of the earrings of this era were so heavy that one could tie a ribbon around one of the loops and attach it to one's wig to allow for comfort, but the actual function of these loops are much more practical!
As many collectors know from personal experience, when putting on this style of earring (which opens from back to front), one must insert the ear into the earring (rather than to insert the earring into the ear, as with modern earrings). The side loops (there is a "left" and a "right") allow the wearer to hold the findings whilst guiding them through the back of the ear piercing. The top loop prevented the earring from sliding forward, so that the jewels would sit "just right." The ear wire, thicker than those made after 1760, then "snaps" into the hole at the back. Hence, these earrings were referred to by 18th-century ladies of fashion as "snaps!"
These earrings require a bit of practice to put on, but they look wonderful on the ear; the round discs of faceted black jet are still in high style after over two and a half centuries! Weighing in at 11.69 grams for the pair, they are also quite comfortable. These earrings will take you from the office to holiday parties in grand Georgian style, and what a history! Best of all, they are in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could hope for, with NO damage, loses or repairs after nearly three centuries! SO DRAMATIC!
If you collect the ultimate in antique jet or Georgian jewelry, these earrings will make a thrilling addition to your collection! They would also make a stellar holiday gift for any lady who loves her antique jewelry to be bold and beautiful, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss these rare, early jewels; earrings of this date rarely survive intact, up to 60-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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