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19th C. Poetic Enamel Earrings


Enamel portrait earrings are typically thought of as Swiss in origin. Often the most experienced of the masters of these pieces moved to the larger city centers such as London or Paris.

Crafted of 18k yellow gold for the wires and 14k to 15k gold for the rest, this pair of circa 1870 earrings is of a two element design with details reflective of the rococo era. Each earring presents a hand painted enamel portrait of a pastoral scene of a child at rest intently engaged in the reading of a book. The portrait is beautifully rendered in a variety of vivid colors ranging from robin’s egg blue sky to various shades of verdant greenery.

Both of the children are dressed in simple peasant garb of an earlier time. Backed with mother-of-pearl, the portrait has a surround of twenty-two (22) natural half pearls (untested but assumed natural due to examination and age) and is crowned with a lyrical scrolling ornament. Each scalloped shaped surmount is centered with a cultured pearl.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 1-11/16 inches (4.2 cm) in length including ear wire by 11/16 of an inch (1.7 cm) at the widest. Width of top portion of earring is 3/8 of an inch (1 cm). Weight of 7.6 grams (4.9 dwt) for the pair.

Hallmarks: French hallmarks to the later ear wires.

Condition: Excellent for the enamel and pearl surround; later ear wires; replaced top pearls in each earring.

Date: Circa 1850-1860.

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