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  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast silver-gilt with blue pastes and red paste doublets, with silver-plated beads and wires

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 77, shelf B, box 3 []

Earrings were popular among all the Slav peoples. In Russia in the 16th and 17th centuries both men and women wore them, and some silversmiths worked exclusively as earring makers. By the 19th century they were only worn by women.

From the early 18th century the design of Russian earrings followed two paths. The Russian aristocracy increasingly wore earrings of international design, but the rural population kept to the old traditional patterns. This type was called golubtsi, meaning dove, because the design resembled a stylised bird. They were made by local silversmiths, who rarely marked their work. As a result, it is very difficult to tell the difference between old earrings and traditional earrings in the old style.

These earrings may be 17th century, but it is more likely that they were made in traditional style in the 19th century. They were bought from the Russian Commissioner at the Fisheries Exhibition, London, 1883. They are quite distinctive, and unlike earrings from any other country.

Physical description

Pair of earrings with flat cast openwork pendant shaped like a stylised bell, decorated on each side with a coloured paste (blue and red), with five pendant wires hanging from the lower edge strung with silver beads.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)


1800-1880 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast silver-gilt with blue pastes and red paste doublets, with silver-plated beads and wires


Length: 6.1 cm, Width: 3.6 cm, Depth: 1.0 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of silver-gilt and silver-plated earrings (golubtsi) set with red and blue pastes, Russia, 1800-1880.


Silver; Paste; Plated


Casting; Gilding; Plating


Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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