The majority of antique earrings currently worn are from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Made generally of silver or gold or a combination they ranged from the very simple and light to the elaborate and heavy. Designs were often fanciful, ingenious and incredibly detailed. Embellishment took many forms- micro mosaic, inlays, enamels, cameos. Gem embellishment could also be just a simple garnet or a pearl or a substantial setting of precious gems. Designs were strongly influenced by current fashions. Very early fittings were at as simple as a ribbon attached into the hair or around the ear. This later morphed into a fine wire which looped around the ear which in turn morphed into a secondary security fitting. At times pierced ears were in fashion, at others they were not socially acceptable in certain classes. In the Art Deco period when piercing ear lobes was regarded as barbaric, screw fittings were utilised. The screw fitting invented around 1863 lasted well into the twentieth century but at times was worn with some apprehension. A pair of delicate Art Deco earrings we held had this early combination of screw fittings and a security loop around the ear. Antique earrings offer a rich variety seldom seen today.

Antique silver drop earrings in a ball and ruffled ribbon border design

Antique silver drop earrings in a ball and ruffled ribbon border design

Such dramatic and modern looking antique silver earrings are extremely difficult to find.

20009830

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Antique gold, filigree and seed pearl oval earrings

Antique gold, filigree and seed pearl oval earrings

A splendid example of antique earrings decorated with filigree.

2000 4286

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Authentic antique, vintage and estate jewellery
26 Howey Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia (03) 9671 3955