Adornments for the Ear
Earrings have been a favourite form of adornment throughout recorded history – and probably long before that. The earliest record of decoration for the ears is from Mesopotamia. A pair of these Sumerian crescent shaped hoop earrings made from beaten gold in around 2500 BCE is shown below – an image of a pair sold at auction by the 1stdibs company, Online Galleries, having been offered by Finch & Co, London).
And on it went from there, with various ways of attaching the jewelry, including through pierced holes in the lobe, so that hooks or posts could be pushed through, or spring clips and screwsif the earl lobe is intact. Ear adornments were sometimes looped over the top of the ears if they were particularly heavy, or even attached to an ornate hair arrangement. These days, ear adornments can include ear cuffs, and rings or studs in multiple piercings.
Below is a selection of drop earrings from Victorian times as well as a couple of Art Deco examples.
Delicate Drop Earrings
From Mary Titchener Antique Jewels, Melbourne, Australia
This pair of Victorian earrings, c.1870, is a vibrant combination of very yellow gold, bright turquoise and pearls. Although they have great impact – they’re so long, as well as bright – the use of open gold chain makes them light and swingy!
Circa 1870, featuring pearl and turquoise and fine gold chain.
Length 4cms $3,200 CODE: Ear-39 (Text and image credit: Mary Titchener Antique Jewels)
Antique Victorian Natural Pearl, Cultured Pearl and Diamond Drop Earrings in Silver and Gold
Here is a delightful example of girandole earrings, very popular during the 18th century, when upswept hair styles left a perfect space for large ornate ear adornments. The girandole earring style was named after the curvy and ornate candelabras of the period, often sporting hanging crystals under the multiple candleholders, giving them the look of standing chandeliers.
Item #504400 The epitome of elegance, these antique Victorian natural pearl and diamond earrings are a rare and remarkable find. Crafted in silver and gold, the chandelier design features antique rose-cut diamonds contrasted with sumptuous pearls. The tops of these earrings were added during the mid twentieth century. The four largest pearls on each earring were tested and certified by the GIA. Six of the pearls graded as natural, while two of the smaller pearls graded as cultured. (Text and image credit: Beladora)