Midsummer Night's Dream

Splendid lapis lazuli earrings in gold, around 1875 and later

Lapis lazuli has been prized for its unique color since ancient times. The stone, mined in the mountains of Afghanistan since ancient times, is not only used for jewelry, but at least as often ground as a precious painting pigment. Artists such as Giotto and Michelangelo used Lapis Lazuli for their incomparable masterpieces, the blue of which inspires with its fresh luminosity after centuries. The colour came to Europe mainly via Venice and was known there as "azurro ultramarine" - "the blue from beyond the sea". Even today, the name ultramarine blue is derived from this designation. These earrings present four of these wonderful stones in settings of high-carat gold. Their basic shape is the circle, similar to a medieval brooch. Like a hemisphere, the brooch stretches up from the base and carries a large polished bouton of lapis lazuli in its center. Fine ornaments of twisted gold threads and small spheres of gold occupy the surface of this framing. A large, flattened drop of lapis lazuli is attached to each under the circular form. The gold and lapis showpieces were created in the 1870s, probably originally as part of a bracelet. More recently, they became the earrings we have here: The elegant, delicate earwires with practical hinged bristles provide a secure hold on the ear. The attached drops of lapis provide an elegant movement. We discovered the earrings in London.

Lapis lazuli has been prized for its unique color since ancient times. The stone, mined in the mountains of Afghanistan since ancient times, is not only used for jewelry, but at least as often ground as a precious painting pigment. Artists such as Giotto and Michelangelo used lapis lazuli for their incomparable masterpieces, the blue of which inspires with its fresh luminosity centuries later. Michael Baxandall, in his famous book "The Reality of Images. Painting and Experience in Renaissance Italy," described how in Renaissance Florence artists and patrons had detailed contracts stipulate how much lapis pigment should be used for, say, the mantle of the Madonna in a fresco. Because the pigment was so extraordinarily expensive, its purchase represented a large part of the expenditure on the work, sometimes costing more than the artist received for his work. The colour came to Europe chiefly through Venice, where it was known as "azurro ultramarine" - "the blue from beyond the sea". Even today, the name ultramarine blue is derived from this designation.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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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