The giardinetti style of jewelry was a natural byproduct of the craze and fashion for all things floral in the 17th and 18th century. Giardinetti translates to garden in Italian.
Real flowers, blooms and posies (small bouquets to be worn), as well as their images adorned a myriad of forms of wallpaper, fabric, decorative arts, furniture and, of course, jewelry, were ubiquitous.
A very rare pair of silver earrings comes down to us from the 18th century that still retain their original back to front ear wires and wig loops.*
These earrings are fashioned in two parts. The surmount is a graduated convex surface studded with marcasites (or pyrites). The drop is an exceptionally lyrical vase with a bouquet of flowers.
Cobalt blue enamel adorns the main body of the vase, with tiny white enamel decorative elements added. Three round domes of enamel serve as the center of the largest bloom and also at the base of the vase and as a decorative hint of color to one side. Two petite glass red cabochons dot the center of two more flowers.
Entirely covered in pyrites, the surfaces subtly glint with steel gray points of light. Rare and superb, one can just imagine the soirees they witnessed and the eyes that gazed upon these baubles for the ears (and those fair ladies who wore them). Even the smell of beeswax from the hundreds of candles in the grand halls can almost be detected from oh so long ago.