ANTIQUE VICTORIAN 14K Gold Earrings - Museum Quality, Gemstone, Drops, Original Box
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AGE: I am stating C.1880 but they could be much, much earlier!
ITEM: An outstanding find! Still nestled in their original RED velvet presentation box, here's a pair of high carat yellow gold drop earrings, true left and right pieces! I found these beauties in an estate here in St. Louis and I am told that they were descended within the family from Mother to Daughter to Granddaughter. The matriarch of the family spent most of her life in New Orleans only moving to St. Louis in her later years when her daughter left Louisiana for Missouri. The earrings, so I was told by the granddaughter, were her grandmothers wedding present from the groom.
The earrings are for pierced ears and are a nice length. At the top where the earwire is attached, there is a small pearl set within a gold round. Suspended from the round is a "shell" set with garnet cabs of a green and red hue, at the center, another pearl. Below the shell is another decorative bit featuring an oxidized leaf, a small floral (looks like a 3 leaf clover) set with another pearl and then a curved line of pearls in graduated sizes.
The earrings are for pierced ears and feature long hooks. Because the sections are hinged, the earrings have a free movement while being worn.
CONDITION: Overall, in excellent shape with no repairs! The earrings backs show oxidization around the "joins" - gold after 100 years of age DOES tarnish!
With regard to the gemstones present in the earrings - one earring appears to have a replacement pearl rather than the original, it's hard to spot because it matches all the others so well and it's only when you look at it from the side doe you see that it is not a half pearl like the other but rather a full pearl. The same earring also has a replacement garnet for the original that is missing. How can I tell? Well, the replacement is faceted while the others are cab. This can be changed out by any jeweler. Other than those 2 small beauty marks, the earrings may be in need of a light professional clean as there is a bit of dust/dirt and some light marks to the surface - all only visible under a 10X magnifying loupe!
The box has wear to the velvet not only on the outside but on the inside as well BUT they are original to the earrings!
METAL CONTENT: 14K Gold
HALLMARKS: There is a hallmark on the earwire that appears to be the makers mark; there are no other marks I can spot as any hallmark to the body of the earring would have left a visible blemish to the gold. The earwire tests at a 14K Gold content as does the main body of the earrings.
SIZE: From top of round to bottom curlicue measures 1-3/4"; width is 3/4".
WEIGHT: 7.6 grams combined - very lightweight earrings!
FINAL COMMENTS: I remember seeing a picture of a similar pair and thinking how wonderful that something so old made it through the years intact. These ARE beauties, very special and with their "Christmas coloring" will be a welcome gift during the holiday season.
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