Dating to c.1740-1750, this remarkably fine pair of early Georgian earrings is a wonderfully-wearable rarity!
As most collectors of Georgian jewelry know, the term "Queen Anne" is widely used in the terminology of antique jewelry to describe jewelry dating to c.1725-1750; even though Queen Anne died in 1716, and was a Stuart, not a Hanover. This refers more to the style than the date of the jewelry in question, and these late Baroque-style earrings are a wonderful example of this restrained but elegant era of design!
Measuring a perfectly-proportioned 7/8" long x 5/8" wide with a gentle curve which hugs the ear, these earrings are desirable on so many levels! The majority of earrings of this date are large and heavy, but this example is just the right size for modern wear, and are very comfortable on the ear! These jewels are hand-wrought in sterling silver, and each features four discs of luminous mother-of-pearl framed in the knife-edged settings which are one of the calling cards of Queen Anne jewelry (silver unmarked but tested)!
The discs of mother-of-pearl have survived the past 255+ years in completely intact condition; in fact, both the pearl plaques and the silver settings are nearly pristine! The backs of the earrings display their original sterling back-to-front ear wires, which still close with a secure "snap;" hence the term "snaps," which was used to describe this style of earring by the early Georgians.
The earrings also display the double loops characteristic of mid-18th century earrings. These have been erroneously referred to as "wig loops" by modern scholars; it was originally thought that the loops were meant to be tied to the wearer's wig for extra security, but in fact, these findings are meant to allow the wearer to hold the earring whilst putting it through the ear!
This feature makes three earrings SO easy to put in and take out; it also ensures that the earrings sit "just so" on the ears, and do not slip forward. As with all mid-18th century earrings, the ear wires are thicker than those found in later jewelry; these are best worn by ladies with slightly larger ear piercings, but the wires to these are finer than most of the period; I was able to put them in and take them off the first time with no worries! JUST SPLENDID!
Best of all, these earrings have become a classic; the mother-of-pearl elements have built up a luscious, almost iridescent surface, with flashes of red, gold, pink, and green! As there is a "left" and "right" earring, the larger loops do not show when the earrings are worn. Weighing in at 6.01 grams, these earrings are super-comfortable, and the fact that they have made it into the 21st-century in museum-quality condition is nothing short of a miracle!
If you love the best in historic jewelry, these stunning "snaps" represent a rarity as well as a superb investment opportunity. They would also make a stellar holiday gift for the lady who loves the romance and rarity of Georgian jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box. (These earrings also look fabulous matched with the hessonite garnet and pearl "oil and vinegar" bow pendant I listed last week!) Do not miss these beauties; 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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