Berlin Iron Assembled Earrings

$850.00
About Details History
The jewelry we call Berlin iron was produced as part of the gold-for-iron campaign the began in 1813 in what is now Germany. To fund the Prussian effort to repel the forces of Napoleon, citizens were urged to donate their gold to the state and were given a piece of lacquered iron jewelry in return. The drive for gold was quite successful, not only were the Prussian war chests were filled, but it had a strong effect socially. Not only was wearing gold jewelry during this period of war was frowned upon and seen as unpatriotic, but Berlin iron jewelry became very fashionable and high street jewelers started to retail the distinctive black jewelry to satisfy demand for the style. The earliest versions were made using neoclassical themes, later variations, like these assembled earrings, were made in the Gothic Revival style. These earrings are made from what appears to be Berlin iron components that most likely weren't originally paired together. The tops feature a cruciform church window shape; the drops, a floral theme. The most wearable (not to mention affordable) you will probably ever see Berlin iron.

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  • Materials: Berlin iron, 9k gold ear wires
  • Age: c. 1830
  • Condition: Very good
  • Size: 2" length measured from the top of the wire, 3/4" at the widest point
  • 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.
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About Details History
The jewelry we call Berlin iron was produced as part of the gold-for-iron campaign the began in 1813 in what is now Germany. To fund the Prussian effort to repel the forces of Napoleon, citizens were urged to donate their gold to the state and were given a piece of lacquered iron jewelry in return. The drive for gold was quite successful, not only were the Prussian war chests were filled, but it had a strong effect socially. Not only was wearing gold jewelry during this period of war was frowned upon and seen as unpatriotic, but Berlin iron jewelry became very fashionable and high street jewelers started to retail the distinctive black jewelry to satisfy demand for the style. The earliest versions were made using neoclassical themes, later variations, like these assembled earrings, were made in the Gothic Revival style. These earrings are made from what appears to be Berlin iron components that most likely weren't originally paired together. The tops feature a cruciform church window shape; the drops, a floral theme. The most wearable (not to mention affordable) you will probably ever see Berlin iron.

less
more

  • Materials: Berlin iron, 9k gold ear wires
  • Age: c. 1830
  • Condition: Very good
  • Size: 2" length measured from the top of the wire, 3/4" at the widest point
  • 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