Very Scarce 17th C. Stuart Crystal Earrings
Rare and beautiful, this pair of very scarce Stuart crystal earrings is octagonal in shape and has the original gold cypher (initials), wire work and pink foiling which still remains with a rich pink color.
The clear rock crystal has been step cut and masterfully beveled to reflect the light. The crystal is set into a silver mount with rub over bezel and secured with small rub over claws. The back is a sculpted pillow of silver and has the addition of 14k yellow gold shepherd’s hook. It is interesting to note that only the English crafted these fascinating memento mori Stuart crystals.
Measurements: 3/4 of an inch (1.8 cm) in length by 1/2 of an inch (1.3 cm) in width. Weight of 4.0 grams (2.6 dwt) for the pair.
Condition: Very good; light to medium wear to the rock crystal surface; each cypher is askew and turned in different directions; interior has slightly mottled red foiling; later modern 14k gold ear wires. A few claws rubbed and one missing but mount secure; an edge gap between crystal and silver. Wear to reverse silver. Generally very fine for their extreme age.
Date & Origin: Circa 1690 – 1740 and is English in origin.
Overall Scale: Small
Historical Notes: With the execution of Charles I in 1649, tokens of loyalty to the slain Stuart Monarch king were distributed and worn. Often covered with faceted rock crystal these amulets contained a lock of his hair, his image or his initials. Thus began a tradition of jewelry (rings, cufflinks, slides, pendants and earrings) no longer associated with the fallen monarch which became sentimental or memorial (memento mori) in nature.
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