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Georgian Garnet & Gold Repoussé Earrings

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If you turn to page 75 of “Earrings: From Antiquity to the Present” by Amanda Triossi and Daniela Mascetti, you will see several examples of these quintessential earrings from the 1840’s. Earrings of this period were dramatic and long, ideally suited for upswept coiffures with rows of curls, low cut bodices, and ladies showing off their swan-like, alabaster necks. Many ear bobs of this period were repoussé gold work – thin sheets of gold hammered and shaped from the back and then pushed out into a myriad of forms.

These cabochon garnets and 18k gold are a superb example. Another commonality in the form of the day was an elaborate top in a cluster with a teardrop shaped dangle. These pieces are no exception. However, the lower drops in these are wider and have more of a pyramidal design. The use of scrolls and flowers in deep relief lends an air of light and shadow to the forms, which defines the earrings as much as do the solids. Three rich deeply colored garnets are polished and set within the central line of the earrings. Golden tones of yellow-bronze swirl and cascade to form a magnificent drop. Three hollow orbs, one large and two of smaller proportion, dangle at the bottom.

Generous in size, these stones range from: 9-mm by 7.3-mm; 8-mm by 6-mm; and 8.7-mm by 10.5-mm. Measures 2-¼ inches long by 1 inch wide (5.6 cm by 2.4 cm). In excellent condition, the only item of note is a later ear wire of 14-15k gold. Circa 1840 and most likely, English in origin. Straight out of an Ingres painting.

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