18th C. Day Night Pavé Paste Earrings
Although paste set jewelry was popular during the late 1600s, the 18th century brought it out into the light. Paste jewelry began to flourish and demand for it virtually quadrupled. Jewelers became expert in the cutting and setting of the sparkling stones into finely designed pieces. Warm and glittering in candlelight, paste jewelry almost replaced that of real diamonds.
The day night earring, developed during the 18th century proved to be an enduring design. Typically this is a two element earring in which the top cluster can be worn separately from the attached drop. However, with this scarce pair of silver earrings it is the bottom teardrop which may be worn solo.
Superbly made, white pastes have been foiled, placed next to one another in pavé style and set closed back. The perimeter of rub over collets is typical for the period as are the rounded backs. Earlier 18th century pieces employed a more rounded, somewhat bulbous reverse. As the years of the 18th century rolled by those backs became less and less rounded while still retaining a solid construction. Modern 10k yellow gold ear wires have been added.
Provenance: From a private collection originally purchased at Ralph Lauren New York.
Date: Circa 1770.
Measurements: 2 inches (5.1 cm) in length including ear wire by 7/8 of an inch (2.3 cm) in diameter. Weight of 21.4 grams (13.8 dwt) for the pair.
Condition: Excellent; a few pastes with minor wear especially to facet edges and/or top surface all visible with magnification; one paste chipped; one paste appears to be an old replacement only visible with a loupe.
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