Love Birds - Mother of Pearl Earrings
Mother of pearl was a material used by Victorian jewelers as part of the trend for incorporating natural materials, such as horn, ivory, bog oak and coral. All were used in the mid to later part of the 19th century. These earrings are quintessentially feminine and representative of a moment when a good deal of the inspiration for jewelry themes was derived from nature – birds, insects, fish and plants.
These are meticulously hand-carved from mother of pearl. The scene is of two love birds nestled among flowers and leaves. The construction is clever—suspended from a small surmount a larger flower swivels and swings from side to side. The carving is highly detailed; the lines and texture of the images is gorgeous as is the shimmering opalescence of the material.
The mother of pearl portion measures 1-¾ inches (4.5 cm); width is 15/16 of an inch wide (2.4 cm). Later date omega clip and post of 14k white gold is a conversion from earlier ear wires. Fascinating construction, the flower is mounted on a pin and can rotate 360 degrees (as do the ear fittings); consequently the birds always in perfect vertical alignment. Circa 1860.