Earrings thumbnail 1
Earrings thumbnail 2
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Earrings

1780-1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

These earrings with their symmetrical bows are a characteristic neo-classical Portugese design of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They form part of a demi-parure - a half set of jewels - which includes a necklace which has a symmetrical bow and a long pendant, which echoes the shape of the earrings. Gone is the asymmetry of the mid-eighteenth century jewels influenced by the rococo.

The effect is of brilliance and light. The stones are white and set in silver to enhance their whiteness. They might have been diamonds, but, if they had been, they would probably have been reset into new fashions many times since. This set of jewels owes its survival to the fact that the stones are white topaz and paste (glass).


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Earring
  • Earring
Materials and Techniques
White topaz set in silver
Brief Description
Pair of earrings, white topaz set in silver openwork with pendants, made in Portugal, 1780-1800
Physical Description
Pair of earrings, white topaz set in silver openwork, with pendants suspended from a complex bow.
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mrs A. E. Stuart
Object history
Bequeathed by Mrs Ada Eliza Stuart, who died in 1928. In her will described as 'my old Spanish necklace'.
Historical context
These earrings with their symmetrical bows are a characteristic neo-classical Portugese design of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They form part of a demi-parure - a half set of jewels - which includes a necklace which has a symmetrical bow and a long pendant, which echoes the shape of the earrings.



The effect is of brilliance and light. The stones are white and set in silver to enhance their whiteness. They are cut like brilliant-cut diamonds, but, if they had been diamonds, they would probably have been reset into new fashions many times since. This set of jewels owes its survival to the fact that the stones are white topaz.
Subjects depicted
Summary
These earrings with their symmetrical bows are a characteristic neo-classical Portugese design of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. They form part of a demi-parure - a half set of jewels - which includes a necklace which has a symmetrical bow and a long pendant, which echoes the shape of the earrings. Gone is the asymmetry of the mid-eighteenth century jewels influenced by the rococo.



The effect is of brilliance and light. The stones are white and set in silver to enhance their whiteness. They might have been diamonds, but, if they had been, they would probably have been reset into new fashions many times since. This set of jewels owes its survival to the fact that the stones are white topaz and paste (glass).
Bibliographic Reference
Bury, Shirley. Jewellery Gallery Summary Catalogue. London: V&A, 1982. p. 100, Case 16 Board B no. 2
Collection
Accession Number
M.104A&B-1930

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record createdJune 30, 2005
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