Splendid costume

Antique earrings with turquoises in gilded silver, Austria-Hungary around 1880

The term Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy refers to the rule of the Habsburgs in Central and Southeastern Europe between the years 1867 and 1918. Emperor Franz Joseph I was ruler over a multi-ethnic empire consisting of a wide variety of nations with very different cultural influences. In this union of individual countries under the crown of Austria, jewellery was created that brought together the various influences of the multi-ethnic state. They led to a recognizable national style of the dual monarchy, which even today still evokes memories of these splendid years. Such a pair of earrings is presented here. It is made of cast silver with a light gilding. The fronts of the oval-shaped pendants each present a natural turquoise in a black and white enameled framing Made in the sand casting process, we see decorative leaf ornaments borrowed from the Baroque design language. The back of the pendant is also beautifully finished. Although concealed when worn, intricate openwork makes the hangers a special feast for the eyes. Presumably, the oval elements were once part of a necklace or bracelet. Elegantly curved hoops made of high-carat gold make them wearable as earrings today, which fits wonderfully with their design language. In this way, they transport us to the shores of the Danube and bring the beauty of the Austro-Hungarian empire to life.

Amethyst, agate, jasper, citrine and onyx - for the chemist all these gemstones are uniformly quartz. But how different are the shapes and colors that nature offers us! Amethyst is the violet son of this family. Its name, from the Greek "amethystos" - "counteracting intoxication", expresses the ancient belief that its wearer was immune to the intoxicating effects of wine. Despite some self-experimentation, we have not yet been able to confirm that this is indeed the case. One thing is certain, however: its color is unique, ranging all the way to a deep violet, starting with the most delicate shades of purple. In the Middle Ages and even in antiquity, amethyst was used to cut numerous objects of decorative art, such as vases and drinking cups, of which a few precious specimens have been preserved in museums of decorative art. But it is above all jewelry for which this stone has been used - and still is, to our great delight.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

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.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


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.