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Earrings

  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    1800-1880 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver with seed pearls and amber paste bead

  • Museum number:

    530&A-1883

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 77, shelf B, box 8 []

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. These 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. Russian traditional jewellery makes great use of seed pearls, which were abundant in local rivers. They are quite distinctive, and unlike earrings from any other country.

Physical description

Pair of hoop earrings, each with a frame of wire attached to the lower edge, strung with seed pearls, with a large faceted amber paste bead at one side.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)

Date

1800-1880 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver with seed pearls and amber paste bead

Dimensions

Length: 4.2 cm, Width: 2.7 cm, Depth: 0.7 cm

Descriptive line

Pair of silver earrings with seed pearls and an amber paste bead, Russia, 1800-1880.

Materials

Silver; Paste; Pearls

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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