Historical Antique Stuart Crystal Earrings
With the 1649 execution of Stuart monarch Charles I tokens of loyalty to the slain king were distributed and worn. Often covered with faceted rock crystal the objects contained his image, a lock of his hair or his monogram.
This style greatly influenced jewelry. Over the years it developed into memorial and sentimental jewelry for the populace. No longer associated only with the King, these pieces were to memorialize a loved one. Although given as a symbol of love and affection, the types collectively continue to be referred to Stuart Crystals or Jacobite jewelry. (The followers and loyalists to James II were referred to as Jacobites). The type made of rock crystal was found in England throughout the late 1700s and well into the mid-18th century.
Still remaining very crisp and fine, the rock crystal faceting glistens and shimmers. The entire edge highly faceted and the entire surface are covered with triangular facets, which makes every movement a new possibility for catching the light and displaying the intricacy of these rare earrings.
The high carat gold on the reverse has now been worn buttery smooth. The saw toothed edge rub-over mount is typical of this period. Beneath the crystal tiny strands of woven gold wire and initials (cypher) rest upon a bed of very finely plaited hair.
Date: Circa 1700.
Measurements: 13/16 of an inch (2.1 cm) in length including ear wire by 1/2 of an inch (1.4 cm) in diameter by 5/16 (0.8 cm) in depth. Weight of 5.4 grams (3.4 dwt) for the pair.
Condition: Excellent; one cypher off center but stable; crystals have not been removed nor has the bezel been disturbed; later 10k yellow gold ear wires added.
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