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  • Place of origin:

    Italy (possibly, made)
    France (possibly, made)
    Lombardy (worn)

  • Date:

    1810-1815 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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. Many pieces seem too large to wear comfortably, but they are usually made of very thin gold, and are much lighter than they appear.

All Italian women wore gold earrings. Their shapes varied widely in different places. This earring comes from Lombardy, but it may have been made in France. It has a French gold mark, from the period when Napoleon ruled much of Italy, but the use of dark blue enamel, and particularly the stars, is more common in French than in Italian jewellery of the period. Simple hoop earrings, often very large and with faceted or domed decoration, are typical of central and northern Italy in the 19th century, and are still widely worn today.

This earring was bought as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.

Physical description

Hoop earring of thin sheet gold, with a stamped pattern of stars on the outside face, bordered with dark blue enamel. Hinged wire, with supporting wire across the top of the hoop, and small loop at top for support.

Place of Origin

Italy (possibly, made)
France (possibly, made)
Lombardy (worn)


1810-1815 (made)



Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Cockerel's head in shaped frame.
Mark for 750 standard gold, France, 1809-1815.
On wire.


Length: 3.6 cm, Width: 3.1 cm, Depth: 0.9 cm

Descriptive line

Gold hoop earring with stamped band decorated with blue enamel, Lombardy (Italy), 1810-1815.

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

'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 6






Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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