Returning: Antique Swallow Bird Earrings
During the Victorian era proper decorum was not only followed it was expected. Even the type of jewelry worn was dictated by rules. Gold during the daytime and pearls or precious gems for the evening and any deviation could jeopardize one's reputation...forever.
Although etiquette and expectations were everywhere, the years of HRH Queen Victoria were also filled with whimsy, novelty and light-hearted fun which was translated into the jewelry as a fashion accessory rather than a part of the family estate. Consequently these "novelty" pieces are fewer in number than the precious jewels of the time.
Delightful these are...perhaps this pair is preparing for their miracle return to the Mission San Juan Capistrano for the feast of St. Joseph on March 19th to rebuild their mud nests still clinging to the arches of the old stone church.
These are 18k yellow gold Victorian earrings of swallow birds in flight. Carefully textured surfaces, each feather is finely defined giving the small and slender songbird all the necessary aerodynamics including its forked tail. Eyes focused forward, each swallow clutches within its beak a small natural pearl drop.
Measurements: Length is 1-1/4 of an inch (3.1 cm) in length by 15/16 of an inch (2.3 cm) in width. This pair of antique earrings has a weight of 3.7 grams (2.4 dwt).
Condition: Very good; later 14k ear wires.
Date: Circa 1860 - 1870.
Overall Scale: Small to medium.