Antique: Victorian Gold (18ct) Drop Earrings Etruscan Revival
These Victorian earrings are a classic example of jewelry from the Etruscan Revival period. They are circa 1860/80's, 18 ct gold, with granulated gold bead work and twisted wire in an intricate floral pattern.
The detailed hand work on this piece is amazing, especially on the spheres. The hours that would have been spent creating the the twisted gold wires and attaching the small beads, would be cost prohibitive in today's world.
Even the chain is hand made. At first glance it looks like just a pretty rope chain. Take a closer look with your loupe and you'll see that each link has been hand-wrapped with gold wire.
These earrings are one of those pieces that represent the best of antique jewelry (beauty and craftsmanship), but yet seem to be at home in a modern wardrobe. They possess the warm soft color associated with antique gold, yet they are very wearable because of the geometric design.
Dimensions & Details: Victorian Gold Earrings
- The earrings are approximately 3 inches or 76 mm in length from the top of the wire to the bottom point and the spheres measure just over 9mm or a little over 1/3 of an inch.
- The earrings are 18 ct gold from tip to top (wire, chain and spheres).
- Each earring weighs a little over 5 grams, for a total of 10.2 grams. Heavy enough to be feel substantial, but light enough not to hurt.
- England (and purchased in England).
Period & Hallmarks
- Victorian, circa 1860/80.
- Not marked, but all tests as 18 ct gold.
- The earrings are in good antique condition. The wires are later replacements. There is an old minor repair on the link at the top of one of the spheres, but it is not eye visible an only visible upon close inspection or magnification.
- To find out how to care for your collection of antique and modern jewels: visit Sugar et Cie's Jewelry Care page to get advice on maintaining and storing your treasured pieces. Please note, do not clean the bloomed gold with anything but a soft damp cloth. Chemical cleaning is likely to remove the bloomed gold finish. If you have any questions always feel free to contact us.
The Original Etruscans and the 19th Century Etruscan Revival
The Etruscans (500 B.C. - 300 B.C.) were famous for their gold working skills. They were known for their ability to manipulate metals, gold etc. into intricate patterns without modern goldsmithing tools and conveniences. Granulated gold is one such technique which is often associated with the Etruscan period. The Etruscans were able to make and attach minute gold balls in order to create detailed and complex patterns. Fusing them to another gold surface, without the use of a controlled torch or modern solder.
In the mid 1800's, archaeological discoveries inspired jewelers and artisans to revive and borrow from the designs of ancient civilizations. One jeweler in particular, Pio Castellani, is thought to be largely responsible for the re-popularization of "Archaeological Jewels" across Europe and Great Britain. He created jeweled masterpieces based upon classical design. He was a lifelong student of ancient civilizations, who studied their metalworking techniques, visited archaeological excavations, and collected their treasures. His pieces are known for his exquisite craftsmanship.
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