Antique Italian Shades of Ruby Pearl Earrings
Southern Italian jewelers, renowned for their pearl work often employed this type of construction in which small pearls were used to cover large areas. For examples of similar workmanship please refer to “Peasant Art in Italy” edited by Charles Holme.
Glorious and exotic, these earrings take natural seed pearls and wire them in concentric circles around a centered natural ruby. Set closed back these offspring of the oceans cover the surface of a dome of 12k rose gold. Each ruby has been banded with a rose gold bezel. Please note the twisted gold perimeter around all of the four discs. The larger convex element suspends three smaller domes of similar construction all joined by simple “O” fittings. Each of the smaller discs has a petite dangle of seed pearls which create a perfect harmony and symmetry of form for the imposing earrings.
Date: Circa 1800.
Measurements: 2-7/8 inches (7.3 cm) in total length including ear wire and 2-1/2 inches (6.3 cm) without by 1-9/16 inches (3.9 cm) in width. Weight of 26.6 grams (17.1 dwt) for the pair.
Condition: Good for the age; some wires have darkened patina; many pearls have darker areas near drill hole; later 9k rose gold ear wires.
Origin: Possibly Italian.
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