The pendeloque earring is a design with origins in the late 17th century.
It consists of a pointed surmount with a bow or ribbon element below, and a single drop, sometimes elongated. Usually, the ribbon and drop swing freely. Its popularity persisted throughout much of the 1700s.
These fantastic emerald earrings are Spanish or Portuguese in origin and are classic examples of the pendeloque. See “Earrings from Antiquity to the Present” by Daniela Mascettti and Amanda Triossi on pages 55 and 63 for two near-exact matches.
Fashioned of 18k gold and completely hand-worked these are divine. The top section has a central roundel in a hollow pillow of gold. This is studded with a flat-cut emerald. Crowning these are flourishes of gold work with three emeralds.
The ribbon form hangs below and is a delicate medley of flourishes and emeralds – eleven in all.
Forty-four flat cut emeralds grace each earring. Their hue is pale green, and many are set closed backed.
The bottom shape is a teardrop form and a larger elongated emerald is used for the center stone.
Emeralds, along with many other precious gemstones, poured in from Brazil in the mid to late 18th century. With burgeoning availability, they took a prominent role with larger gemstone-to-metal ratios.
The back-to-front ear wires were replaced with gold shepherd's hooks. The jewelers had chosen wisely to cap the reverse top mount to hold the wire, rather than stress the original metal.
A collector’s dream comes true.
Note: From a private collection, purchased from The Three Graces in 2004.