The holy grail of antique jewelry buying is always, always, a fabulous pair of gold earrings. So, you just know that these Etruscan Revival beauties made my heart go pitter-pitter-pat when I came across them lying in a velvet-lined display case in a poorly lit stall at the antiques market in Ardingly, in the south of England.
Inspired by the discoveries and excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum, Victorian jewelers produced lightly crafted jewels featuring granulation and fine wire work in the way that only the most skilled jewelers could do. These wonderful 15 karat gold and Rhodolite Garnet earrings have an appealing shape and wonderful movement on the ear. Each earring is set with one round 4x4 mm plummy garnet and one 6.3 x 5.7 mm oval faceted garnet. They are 19 mm wide and drop 52 mm from the top of the wire. Together they weigh 5.2 grams. These kind of hollow jewels showcase the great skill and ability of the jewelers at this time to utilize very little gold to great effect, but due to their hollow nature they are very venerable to damage and so are quite rare and hard to find, especially as earrings. Made in England around 1860.
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