Traditional Antique Blackamoor Enamel Earrings
Referred to as Moretto (It.: head of a Moor), the theme of these earrings has been a specialty of the artisans of Venice and Croatia for hundreds of years. Inspired by styles of the East, this type of jewelry was believed to have protective powers and was worn as an amulet to guard against evil. In fact, sailors often wore a Morcic earring in the left ear. In the 19th century the style developed into an expensive and much sought-after trend of the upper crust. Still produced today in Venice by the iconic firm of Nardi, the jewels evoke flamboyant images of Carnivale and the exotic mysterious East.
This pair of turn of the 20th century earrings of 14k rose gold offers up a marvelous image of turbaned and garnet-set head and neck figural representations. Rendered in black and white enamel with contrasting pinpoints of enamel, rose gold eyes, lips and neck clearly shine. Original back to front ear wires complete the traditional period piece.
Date: Circa 1900.
Measurements: 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) in length including ear wire and 9/16 of an inch (1.4 cm) without by 1/4 of an inch (0.6 cm) at the widest. Weight of 3.0 grams (1.9 dwt) for the pair.
Hallmarks: Illegible European hallmarks to each ear wire.
Condition: Very good; a bit of black enamel loss to one earring on bottom interior area and on front near the hinge; two white bubbles of enamel chipped off from each earrings now showing just white enamel with no black dot. Most enamel loss is only visible with magnification.
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