Archaeological or classical revival – the creation of jewelry inspired by antiquity – reached its apex in the mid- to late 1800s. The famous firms of Giuliano and Castellani of Italy, and John Brogden in England, created some of the most magnificent examples of classical revival jewelry. Recreations and embellishment of original Grecian designs ranged from amphora, to cupid astride a dove, and rams. In this example, crystal amphora dangle beneath high karat gold formed in the shape of rams' heads. The neck of each amphora is enameled in lavender blue enamel. The combination of rams and amphora together is distinctly late 1800s.
In spite of their impressive size (2.5" long from the top of the hook), these earrings are remarkably graceful, elegant and comfortable to wear. They are likely either Italian, or English, given their large size, and date to the 1860s to 1870s.
Note that the photographs render the gold more "brassy" than in real life. They have a soft, matte patina and ae not shiny. For more true to life photos, feel free to contact me.
Hallmarks: French mark "E.T.", meaning "etranger" or foreign workmanship, on each hook. The back of one earring is numbered `1668', indicating it may have been part of an important collection.
Size: 2.5" long and 3/8" at the top of the crystal.
Condition: Very good, noting a very small repair to the crystal at the top of one earring, invisible when worn/observed head on.