Novelty in a Victorian Bird Nest Earring
From the 1860s through the 1870s a whimsical wave of inspiration swept the English jewelry world. Nature as its source, we find examples that range from birds, fish and to other organic forms all treated with a certain whimsy and color. Rare to find these days (this is the first pair ever for The Three Graces!), these earrings are constructed of silver gilt or vermeil.
Vivid green enamel serves as the color for the leaves, cat tails of silver gilt and a small woven bird nest set amidst the flora. At the center, two natural baroque pearls (untested but assumed natural due to age and examination) are the "eggs" deposited by the mother bird. What could be more evocative?
Date: Circa 1870
Measurements: 1-7/8 inches (4.9 cm) in length by 5/8 of an inch (1.6 cm) in width by 5/8 of an inch (1.6 cm) in depth. Weight of 11.4 grams (7.3 dwt) for the pair.
Note: See pages 102 to 103 of the book, "Earrings from Antiquity to the Present" by Mascetti and Triossi for a very similar example.
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