Third Floor Antique Jewelry

Antique French 18 Karat Gold Pearl Earrings, circa 1820


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Directory: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Pre 1837 VR: Item # 1289944

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Third Floor Antique Jewelry
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P.O. Box 223 H
Scarsdale New York 10583
973 620-0119

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These are remarkable, Georgian 18 karat gold and glass pearl earrings, circa 1820. Very scarce , having survived almost 195 years, they were purchased in Paris. The gold fittings are cannetille(fine wire work creating patterns) and have retained their original, glorious patina. The ear wires are original as well and are back to front.

The use of imitation pearls was a novelty and an art unto itself. The laborious process utilized an inner coating of nacre which was a paste of fish scales. The pearls blown with this as a base, resulted in a luminous, magical glow.

The earrings each have large, plump pearls, capped with fine gold work, and topped with a decorative, small crown. The very bottom of the large pearls are capped with fine gold work, matching the rest of the earring. The top element , also original, is surround by tiny pearls , creating the perfect complement to the bottom section. The pearls are all original and in excellent, remarkable condition. One tiny pearl ( 9 o'clock position) is dull, but barely noticeable when worn. They are "day/night" which enables the top to be detached and worn alone during the day

These would have been very costly and only the aristocracy, could afford their beauty. They are 18 karat gold and have the gold guarantee poincon "Tete de belier" or mark of a ram. This mark was used from 1819-1838 in Paris. They measure 1 1/4 inches from the top of the ear wire X 3/8ths inches across the bottom pearl.

These are the first pair of blown Georgian pearls I have ever had the pleasure to sell. So reminiscent of Vermeer's iconic "Girl With A Pearl Earring." Elegant.... and a work of art.

France, circa 1820