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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (made)
    Parma (province) (worn)
    Modena (worn)

  • Date:

    1820-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold set with pierced pearls and foiled garnets

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 76, shelf C, box 7 []

Italian women have always loved lavish display. Even for the poorest, a rich show of jewellery was all important. Italian goldsmiths were expert at making a little material go a very long way. The garnets in these earrings have been backed with red metallic foil to improve their colour. Red and gold are the dominant colours in Italian traditional jewellery.

All Italian women wore gold earrings. Their shapes varied widely in different places. These earrings are typical of the area around Parma and Modena, although similar patterns were found throughout central and northern Italy in the 19th century. They were bought for £5 16s the pair as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Pair of girandole earrings, consisting of a circular openwork segment above a crescent-shaped pendant, with three oval pendants hanging from its base. All the pieces are made from pierced gold sheet set with garnets and pierced pearls. Hinged wire at back.

Place of Origin

Italy (made)
Parma (province) (worn)
Modena (worn)


1820-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gold set with pierced pearls and foiled garnets


Length: 8.7 cm, Width: 5.8 cm, Depth: 2.0 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of gold girandole earrings set with pearls and garnets, Italy, 1820-1867.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 2


Gold; Pearl; Garnet




Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project


Metalwork Collection

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