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Brenda Ginsberg Antique Jewelry

Antique Georgian Victorian Earrings gold diamond emerald ruby pearl enamel (7432)

Antique Georgian Victorian Earrings gold diamond emerald ruby pearl enamel (7432)

Regular price $4,750.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $4,750.00 USD
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Antique Victorian, possibly Georgian, earrings en esclavage. Gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls and enamel. Made circa 1860-1880's, possibly a lot earlier - see below. Almost certainly made in France and come in original fitted box with Paris, France retailer.  

Measurements: Weight is 11.6 grams. Approximately 2 1/2 inches (6.5cm) long.

Description :  Very long, dangly, drop earrings.  Romantic jewelry at its best. Rare figural jewels.  Rich in gems and symbolism, these earrings are all about the workmanship, craft and aesthetic appeal. 

Surmounts consist of wavy gold ribbons with deep green emeralds in their centers. Although small, these emeralds are of a lovely rich color and shape. A trio of jewelled lines is suspended from the bows, stretching down to the main body of the earrings. On the outsides are 2 rows of colette-set rubies. Flower-formed gold colettes. A touch of whimsey in that the central gem is a diamond instead of a ruby. In the middle is a line of tiny pearls, joined via tiny gold links. These lead to the surmount of the oval central body. 

The surmount of the body is in the form a jardinier or flowerpot- giardinetti jewelry was very popular from Georgian times and is in itself, highly sought after today. The are composed of blue-enamelled baskets, in an openwork, trellis pattern, with matching handles. The flower pots hold flowers composed mainly of diamonds, but with ruby highlights. 

Gemset flowers, in particular diamond roses surround the central ovals of the body. On either side of the oval is an elongated torchier, made of openwork, trellis work in blue enamel, matching the jardiniere above. Swags of tiny gems and pearls swing around the ovals of the body. The bottoms are also in the form of simple bows, set with emeralds and with sprays of diamond and ruby flowers suspended below. 

The oval centers of the earrings are held within a gold mount. Within each is a convex plaque, polychrome enamelled with a Classic Greek / Roman goddess in long flowing robes alongside pillars and shrubbery. The goddesses are possibly Aphrodite, goddes of love and beauty and Artemis - goddess of chastity, often depicted with an arrow.

Long gold wires are easy to insert. 

The Story: During the Georgian period, especially in France, necklaces were made with looped chains, called swags and in French "en esclavage". The jewelled chains and swags of these earrings are highly reminiscent of these delicate chains, which can also be seen in jewelry throughout Europe during the very early 1800's. 
En Esclavage means "enslaved".  According to the book on Georgian jewelry by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings -page 37,  the referral is enslaved to beauty, without the negative connotations we see in that word. 
The same book, page 48, shows a pair of earrings with similar very fine work and tiny emeralds, rubies and pearls, made in France, circa 1780. 
Another pair of earrings from the period around 1800,  with similar design, including enamel plaques, is shown on page 91 of the book on Earrings by Daniela Mascetti and Amanda Triossi. They are just as full of sentimental symbolism as our pair of earrings - love knots, bows and flowers.
It's difficult to date these earrings precisely: the gemset work and swags look very Georgian in style and workmanship; the oval plaques are likely a little later - from the Victorian era. 

The earrings are full of symbolism relating to love - bows are symbols of love and fidelity; torches - reminiscent of Cupid's flaming love torches; baskets of flowers and of course, the Classic goddesses. 


Fit for a queen, it wouldn't surprise me if these earrings were originally owned by royalty.

Antique fitted case by Riballier, 53 Palais Royal, Paris - once the most prestigeous address for buying antiques in France. 

Marks and Metal: There are marks on the wires of the earrings that look like French hallmarks, but are not quite legible. Gold was electronically tested.    

Condition: Minor wear to one blue trellis. No wear to plaques. Generally good condition, commensurate with age and use.  Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer. 

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