Through the Looking Glass Spanish Earrings
All hand-made, this modified girandole (three drop earrings in fashion from the late 17th through the 18th centuries) is crafted of 18k yellow gold and glass. Glass used in this manner was not often seen and then only in the Iberian Peninsular.
Many Portuguese and Spanish earrings of this era were exceedingly long and heavy and were often worn with hooks or other suspension fittings that fit into the wearer’s powdered wigs. This pair of antique earrings is a most wearable length and weight.
Here the girandole form has been modified with the central drop elongated and flanked by two small side drops. The perimeter of the diamond-shaped surmount is studded with glass and encloses a flower form also appointed with the faceted glass. The central element, the archetypal bow shape of the 18th century, suspends the three pendant drops. In the same manner as precious stones, each of the glass gems is faceted, foiled and set closed back.
The reverse displays the hand engraved lines and detailing and the split pin construction characteristic of this period. Astonishingly in original condition, this includes the back to front ear wires with hoops for holding the earrings to prevent then from tipping forward. These earrings were purchased in Spain.
Condition: Very good to excellent; four old repairs and reinforcements on the reverse of one earring; on the same earring one stone pushed in slightly, one stone a tad bit askew but secure. There are several small nicks on the back of each earring; a small repair to the back of one completed with rose gold. Thick ear wires which for some may need to be thinned depending upon size of ear piercing. We at The Three Graces were able to wear these comfortably.
Measurements: 2-7/8 inches (7.2 cm) in length by 7/8 of an inch (2.2 cm) at the widest. This pair of antique earrings has a weight of 17.4 grams.
Circa & Origin: Circa 1780 – 1820; most likely Spanish in origin.