En Repoussé: Aquamarine Georgian Earrings
The 18th century was dominated by two major types of earrings one of which was the girandole which initially appeared around the middle of the 17th century. According to experts Mascetti and Triossi, this form has traditionally consisted of two elements worked into a consistent design that supported three pear or tear shaped drops. Often a hook or similar device was employed to join the main section to the surmount. Known as day night earrings, this device allowed the wearer to remove that section and wear only the tops. Very flattering to the face, this style of earring has remained with us to this day.
With the years of strife, revolution and war having taken its toll on the resources of almost the entire European continent, the availability of gold and precious gems became limited to the jewelers of the early to mid 19th century. Consequently two new forms of ornamentation emerged—cannetille work and repoussé—which used significantly less of the available precious metals without sacrificing the look of extravagance and opulence.
By the early to middle of the 1800s repoussé ousted the costly and labor-intensive cannetille work and became the decoration du jour and semi-precious stones the companion pieces to the embossed metal. Here we present a lovely example of “the” earring of the early decades of this era. With classic back to front ear wires, 18k yellow gold has been richly appointed with tendrils and scroll motifs caressing faceted aquamarine gemstones and demonstrates that very French sense of movement and sculptural quality desired in an antique earring.
Hallmarks: French ram's head used after 1819.
Measurements: Less than 2-1/2 inches (6.2 cm) in length by 1 inch (2.5 cm) at the widest. Surmount is 11/16 of an inch (1.5 cm) in length by 3/8 of an inch (1 cm) in width. This antique pair of earrings has a weight of 7.1 grams.
Date & Origin: Circa 1830 – 1840 and are French in origin.