Gold & Light - Iberian Hoop Earrings
Gold's unusual properties allow it to be hammered so thin that one can even see light through it. Its allure to humans is unceasing as it has been one of the main materials in use for body adornment since the beginning of recorded history.
Here 20k gold has been cleverly hammered and worked into braided wire then swirled and coiled into a golden trellis work of open aired metal. Several shapes emerge, a half hoop, a crescent moon and fan shape reside side by side to form this light and airy earring. Harkening back to the 18th century, these are a traditional form of earrings often termed "boat" shape.
Spanish or Portuguese in origin, a very similar pair of earrings can be found on page 150 of the book, "Five Centuries of Jewellery the National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon".
Condition: Very good with a few touches of patina, with many of the domed gold appliques having slight wear or tiny dents, one with two dents noticeable up close or with a loupe, otherwise fine.
Measurements: 1 15/16 inches long by 1 7/8 inches wide (4.8 cm by 3.7 cm) and very thin at about 1 mm.
Date & Origin: Circa 1850-70, Portuguese or Spanish.