Unusual earrings from an antique brooch, around 1880 and later
Until the beginning of the 19th century, the forms of jewelry of classical antiquity were still unknown. Neither in the Renaissance, nor in Classicism had archaeological excavations produced genuine jewelry of antiquity. The designs of these epochs had been merely approximations of an ideal that had to be drawn from other contexts, such as architecture or sculpture. This changed abruptly with the discovery of genuine Etruscan jewelry beginning in the 1820s in Italy. Princess Alexandrine of Canino, for example, was known to enjoy wearing some original Etruscan jewelry found at her country estate near Rome, to the envy of her friends. However, the number of pieces, all of which were chance finds, remained small and original, millennia-old Etruscan jewelry could still only be owned by a fraction of the ladies. Therefore, the goldsmiths of those years soon began to produce new jewelry according to now finally known ancient forms. Especially Pio Castellani from Rome and his sons excelled in this field and designed jewelry that from the middle of the century became a trademark and a true fashion known throughout Europe. But also in the rest of Europe their works, which were quickly known under the term "archaeological style", were received with interest and merged with the forms of their own history. The pair of earrings here speaks the formal language of this fashion. Below an earwire with attached ball, a richly decorated element is movably attached, showing flowers and foliage along with fine cord soldering and coiled gold wires. Finally, below an arch, long pendulums are movably attached. The earrings were created in recent decades from an antique brooch and an originally shorter pair of earrings as a mariage: The two richly ornamented tops were probably joined at their lower ends and framed a now-lost round showpiece as a brooch. A skilled goldsmith separated them from each other and placed them there in a pair of earrings. With the pendulums below them, they now make a coherent design in late 19th century taste.
The late 19th century was infatuated with the past. Society was changing, industry had long since transformed the once tranquil towns into large metropolises, and new technologies such as the telegraph were bringing the world closer together. In this situation, citizens yearned for stability and reliability - and looked back to history to find role models for their own times. At the same time, fashions were now changing at an increasingly rapid pace. In earlier centuries, aesthetic preferences had changed only very slowly. In the 19th century, however, their change accelerated enormously. The history of jewelry knows as many fashions as generations in the hundred years between 1800 and 1900. At the beginning and end of the century, for example, white jewelry was in demand, richly set with diamonds. In the 1860s and 1870s, bold colors were in demand, preferably large, polished surfaces of yellow gold and intense colored stones.
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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.