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18th Century Rock Crystal Floral Cluster Earrings

$2,600.00
About Details History

These stunning silver flower-shaped earrings were made in the late 18th century. Faceted rock crystal gems sparkle in bright, clean foiled settings. The back-to-front closures - often referred to as "Queen Anne" style - were common to the period, and the tiny loops at the top of each ear wire are wig hooks(!). Their purpose was to stabilize the earrings and keep the gems facing forward, and the loops were attached to the head using pins which were then concealed beneath an ultra-fabulous and likely ultra-voluminous wig. 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. However you choose to fasten these to your wig, they're unusually wearable (carefully, though - these jewels are very, very old and delicate.) 

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  • Materials: silver, foiled rock crystal
  • Age: c. 1760
  • Condition: good
  • Size: 15/16" diameter
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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.
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more

About Details History

These stunning silver flower-shaped earrings were made in the late 18th century. Faceted rock crystal gems sparkle in bright, clean foiled settings. The back-to-front closures - often referred to as "Queen Anne" style - were common to the period, and the tiny loops at the top of each ear wire are wig hooks(!). Their purpose was to stabilize the earrings and keep the gems facing forward, and the loops were attached to the head using pins which were then concealed beneath an ultra-fabulous and likely ultra-voluminous wig. 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. However you choose to fasten these to your wig, they're unusually wearable (carefully, though - these jewels are very, very old and delicate.) 

less
more

  • Materials: silver, foiled rock crystal
  • Age: c. 1760
  • Condition: good
  • Size: 15/16" diameter
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.
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more