à l'antique

Victorian gold earrings in the Etruscan Revival style, around 1870

In earlier centuries, jewellery fashions changed sometimes very slowly. In the 19th century their change then accelerated enormously, because the financially strengthened middle class became an important buyer class. While people at court often wore rather conservative pieces of jewellery, it was the wealthy bourgeoisie and the bohemian classes who sported the latest, sometimes daring creations. The history of jewellery thus knows countless fashions in the hundred years between 1800 and 1900, which were in a constant state of flux and thus enable us to narrow down the time of origin of a piece of jewellery quite precisely. In the period around 1870, for example, no wealthy lady's wardrobe was complete without yellow gold earrings. A great variety of shapes was available, but they were always of a stately length. The present pair is a very typical example, though rarely found today. It is shaped as a slender torpedo-shaped pendulum suspended beneath a round with flower-shaped appliqué. Both elements are applied with fine gold wires and beads, the so-called granulations. Jewellery like this was inspired by the jewellery of the ancient Etruscans, which had a great influence on the fashion world at the time. Some ladies even owned antique originals, but the displays of modern jewellers were also dominated by antique-inspired creations. Since long earrings were again considered unrefined from the 1880s onwards and small dormeuses took their place, the magnificent pair probably soon disappeared back into the jewellery box and has therefore been excellently preserved. A pair with comparable decoration can be found in David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 159, fig. 170.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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