Georgian Garnet Grape Cluster Earrings

$1,000.00
About Details History

The metal loops at the top of these Georgian earrings are known as "wig hooks". They were designed to be secured with pins to one's coiffure (a big powdered one, preferably). Another possible explanation for the way the loops were used is that they were threaded with a ribbon that would be tied at the back of the head and then concealed beneath a wig. These unusual Georgian earrings (complete with wig hooks) are tiny renderings of bunches of grapes. Grapes and grapevines are associated with Dionysus and have long been regarded as symbols of prosperity, fertility, and abundance. These tiny flat-cut garnet clusters curve around your earlobe and fasten back to front (the loops are hidden behind the earlobe).

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  • Materials: base metal, flat cut garnets
  • Age: c 1800
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Measurements: fronts (grape clusters) are 15mm x 8.9mm
  • Location: To see these earrings in person, please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
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GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
less
more

About Details History

The metal loops at the top of these Georgian earrings are known as "wig hooks". They were designed to be secured with pins to one's coiffure (a big powdered one, preferably). Another possible explanation for the way the loops were used is that they were threaded with a ribbon that would be tied at the back of the head and then concealed beneath a wig. These unusual Georgian earrings (complete with wig hooks) are tiny renderings of bunches of grapes. Grapes and grapevines are associated with Dionysus and have long been regarded as symbols of prosperity, fertility, and abundance. These tiny flat-cut garnet clusters curve around your earlobe and fasten back to front (the loops are hidden behind the earlobe).

less
more

  • Materials: base metal, flat cut garnets
  • Age: c 1800
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Measurements: fronts (grape clusters) are 15mm x 8.9mm
  • Location: To see these earrings in person, please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC.
less
more
GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
less
more