Jewellery of the fishwives

Antique poissard earrings with glass pastes in silver, Paris circa 1840

A so-called Poissarde (French for: fishwife) is a form of earring that was worn especially in the years around 1800. These pieces are shaped like large hoops, similar to creoles, and feature decorations of superimposed ornaments or a setting of gemstones on their front. In the center of the oval hoop is typically an s-shaped joint of plain or corded 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 earrings here show themselves in this classic form. The earrings were made in the years around 1840, according to the stamping in Paris. On the back, the earrings, made of silver, are lightly gilded, while the fronts are adorned with a glittering row of white glass pastes. Typical of the time, the stones are held in closed silver settings, which are foiled on the back, making their shine unmistakable to this day. At the same time, the silver underscores the cool sheen of the white pastes. The s-shaped connection of the poissards rests against the earlobe and thus holds the decorated front in place, so that the wonderful ear jewellery of the early 19th century can still be worn without restriction today. For dating compare a very similar piece in: Ginny Redington Dawas/Olivia Collings: Georgian Jewelry 1714-1830, Woodbridge 2007, p. 32. Brigitte Marquardt: Schmuck. Klassizismus und Biedermeier, 1780-1850, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Munich 1983, shows on p. 223 f. comparable earrings of the same type.

The great upheavals of European politics in the age of Napoleon shuffled the relationship of states from scratch. Kingdoms and principalities decayed, were newly founded, became bitter enemies or sudden allies. But what led to tensions, war and demarcation in the field of politics was left out in the field of art, fashion and jewellery: Europe was united here in a common style, the elegant, international formal language of classicism. After the elegant, yet sometimes exuberant exuberance of the Rococo, taste turned to the clearer, more rational forms of Antiquity. Ornaments such as palmettes, tendrils and geometric patterns now determined the designs of architects as well as the jewellery designers of the time - although these could sometimes be the same person, think of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, from whom designs for jewellery have survived alongside his drawings for the royal buildings in Berlin.

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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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