Earring (one of a pair)

English
1750–1800


Dimensions

7 x 4.5 x 2.3 cm (2 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 7/8 in.)

Medium or Technique

Gold metal and coque de perle

Not On View

Collections

Textiles and Fashion Arts

Classifications

Jewelry / Adornment, Earrings, flares, plugs, studs

These girandole style earrings made from coque de perle–pearl-like stones that are cut from the Indian nautilus shell and are similar to blister pearls. These pearls are likely from India but were made in England, possibly for the colonial American market. These would be worn during the day, given that they do not include a precious stone. The interesting clasp was specially designed for this style of earring–the evening version was considerably heavy–the fitting was hinged and inserted from the back of a pierced earlobe. The curved portion allowed for a ribbon to be inserted and secured to the hair both to be fashionable and to alleviate some of the weight from the earlobe.

Credit Line

The Elizabeth Day McCormick Collection