Posted 8 years ago
Antique earrings are items where the retail value is often wildly disproportionate to the intrinsic value of the materials like gold and gemstones that went into them.
Quality Georgian and Victorian earrings are sought after, so when I saw the first set of 35mm long shield and bow earrings come up at an estate auction I figured they'd go for a lot of money. I was astonished when no one else bid and they were knocked down to me for the auctioneer's minimum start. When I looked at them under a glass, the bow is filigree cannetille, and when I had them tested they're 20k gold with natural rubies. I figure they're about 1820's.
These second set are 48mm long, in a style many people would call Etruscan Revival, but I think they're more naturalistic. The gold is 12k, and the stones are pastes. They're hand made from thin sheets of gold, the detail of the gold work on the leaves is amazing. They're quite hard to date accurately, but I'd say some time from 1820 - 1870.
Last set are 25mm long, in 18k gold set with turquoises, with a quatrefoil shape, decorated in rope work and engraved with little Celtic style interlaces around the edges. I think these are from the relatively rare (for jewellery) Gothic Revival period, about 1840 - 1870.
My wife is always very pleased when I bring home nice earrings, apparently you can never have too many of them!