Do you hear how the people sound...?

Antique Biedermeier poissant earrings with natural pearls & glass pastes, around 1820

A so-called poissarde (French for: fishwife) is a form of earring worn mainly in the years around 1800. These pieces are shaped like large hoops, similar to creoles and feature decorations of superimposed ornaments on their front, sometimes set with gemstones. In the center of the oval hoop is typically an S-shaped connection of gold wire, meant to resemble a fishhook. The earrings take their name from the fishwives of the city of Paris, who were the first to wear them and, adorned with them, played a significant role in the French Revolution. The present earrings of the Biedermeier period show themselves in this classical form. The ear jewellery of the years around 1820 is made of rose gold. The front of the hoop is decorated with colorful glass pastes in royal blue and natural pearls, which were staggered in moving rows. The S-shaped link rests against the earlobe, holding the ornate front in place. The hoops can be unfolded to put them on; afterwards they snap securely back into place, so that the pair can still be worn safely and with pleasure some 200 years after its creation. Brigitte Marquardt's comprehensive compendium: Jewelry. Klassizismus und Biedermeier, 1780-1850, Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz , Munich 1983, shows comparable earrings of the same type on pp. 223 f.

We have encountered glass as an adornment of colourful shining jewellery since antiquity. But it was not until the 17th and 18th centuries that the joy of the sparkle of this material reached its peak. Jewellery with cut glass stones, called paste, was loved in the Baroque, Rococo and even later in Classicism and was by no means considered inferior. On the contrary, its radiance was revered, for which the pastes were also often foiled into the jewelry. For this purpose, a silver foil was placed behind the pastes to increase their sparkle. The starting point for jewellery production was usually sparkling lead crystal glass. In 1734, Georges-Frédéric Strass developed a particularly sparkling version of this glass in Paris, which quickly became widespread. The "Strass", which is still known today, was born. As a substitute for real jewels it was used for travel jewellery. But especially glass pastes in powerful, unique colors, which could not be found in nature, were considered jewels of their own right in the 17th and 18th centuries - also because gemstones were much more difficult to obtain than today, with our globalized markets.

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.