Etruscan Style Hoop Earrings

About Details History
What fascinated the Victorians most about the Etruscan goldwork that was unearthed via archaeological digs in the 1850s and 1860s was a decorative technique called "granulation" - a delicate process of adorning jewelry with tiny beads (or "granules," hence the name) of gold. The process by which the Etruscans achieved this effect was lost to time, and despite their best efforts, very few European craftsman were able to emulate it with the same intricacy and precision as their ancient forebears. They certainly tried, but what they achieved was usually a pared-down version of the highly elaborate granulation that the Etruscan artifacts possessed. The results of the Victorian efforts were always beautiful, however, and these 14k gold hoop earrings are a perfect example of the "archaeological style" of craftsmanship.

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  • Materials: 14k yellow gold (tests)
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 1 1/4" measured from the top of the ear wire, 1" width
  • Location: To see these earrings in person please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History
What fascinated the Victorians most about the Etruscan goldwork that was unearthed via archaeological digs in the 1850s and 1860s was a decorative technique called "granulation" - a delicate process of adorning jewelry with tiny beads (or "granules," hence the name) of gold. The process by which the Etruscans achieved this effect was lost to time, and despite their best efforts, very few European craftsman were able to emulate it with the same intricacy and precision as their ancient forebears. They certainly tried, but what they achieved was usually a pared-down version of the highly elaborate granulation that the Etruscan artifacts possessed. The results of the Victorian efforts were always beautiful, however, and these 14k gold hoop earrings are a perfect example of the "archaeological style" of craftsmanship.

less
more

  • Materials: 14k yellow gold (tests)
  • Age: c. 1880
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 1 1/4" measured from the top of the ear wire, 1" width
  • Location: To see these earrings in person please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more