Divine companions

Antique coral gem in cannetille as modern earrings, around 1825/2019

Two majestic female heads are cut into red coral from the Mediterranean Sea. Rendered in profile, the ancient goddesses radiate dignified majesty and tranquility. Wide frames of fine gold wire frame the heads, which thus shine like small suns. Restrained bows of gold turn the portraits into earrings. The frames of spirals of gold are made in a special technique called cannetille. Jewelry with cannetille was especially popular in the decade from 1820 to 1830. It is related to filigree and usually consists of finely hammered sheets and gold wires. The forms used consist mainly of tendrils, spirals and beehive-like elements that look like delicate lace and are often decorated with fine granules. Cf. with numerous examples Ginny Reddington Dawes / Olivia Collings: Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830, Woodbridge 2007, pp. 113-116 and David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 82, p. 85, etc. The use of the cannetille thus suggests that gems and their settings were made in the years around 1825, presumably in Italy, where jewellery made of coral and carved gems of high quality were made for the Italian travellers of the time. The pair here was made with Italian coral, probably in the Bay of Naples. Originally the corals with their magnificent frames were part of a larger necklace, of which we discovered only a part in an estate, well guarded but unfortunately no longer to be worn. Our goldsmith has therefore fitted the gems with gold earwires and thus turned the pair into earrings: may the two divine companions now protect their wearer and remind her to be aware of feminine power.

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

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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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