Diamond Spanish Pendeloque Earrings
Only those from the Iberian Peninsula dared to drape themselves in jewels of the grandest scale. Literally dripping with cascading precious metals and gems, the expression "over the top" was most definitely created for the Iberians. The size of the earrings certainly almost achieved the ultimate proportion; many today are difficult to actually don since they can be so long with some falling well below shoulder length.
However, here we have uncovered a pair that is wearable yet is as opulent as one could ever wish. Measuring a full 3-1/4 inches long (8.4 cm) by 1 inch (2.5 cm) at the widest (and for a majority of the earring), they are nothing less than splendid. Rose cut diamonds dot the entire silver surface - all deeply imbedded within cut down and pinched silver mounts. Eighty seven (87) stones in each earring create a surface that appears to be alive with both light and warmth.
Note the favored form of the day: the girandole or three drop motif. Often girandoles have three nearly equal size and length drops. Here is a modification with two smaller and shorter drops on each side with the central large teardrop falling below. Hints of Moorish influence, especially on the two half moon shapes at the base of each side drop and on the top section, awaken the exotic.
Dating to the mid 18th century, they are articulated at various points - the long teardrop, its inner drop, the bottom drop and sides - and sway and dazzle. The reverse reveals that characteristic rounded and full metal work - bulbous cups of silver embrace the diamonds. One can just picture the tiny “infanta” of a Spanish king reaching up to play with her mother's jewels knowing she will some day wear these gems. Alternatively, if a daughter of the wealthy remained unmarried, she was sent to a convent. As a condition of acceptance the family made large donations to that order. Because of this process many a jewel was saved, some for centuries.
In fine condition, the earrings have later and modern ear clips. These fittings support the rather weighty earrings to good advantage. However, they could be returned to back-to-front ear wires in the original style if desired.