Earring thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Earring

1800-1867 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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 Piedmont. Its stamped decoration is very similar to that on crosses from the same region, and from those across the border in France. Simple hoop earrings, often very large and with facetted or domed decoration, were common throughout central and northern Italy in the 19th century, and are still widely worn today.

This earring was bought for £1 16s. (the pair) as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Faceted and stamped yellow sheet gold
Brief Description
Gold hoop earring with stamped pattern on lower edge, Piedmont (Italy), 1800-1867.
Physical Description
Hoop earring, with the lower edge made of hollow gold, partly faceted, and partly stamped in a pattern of flowers in lozenges. Curved piece of wire across the top of the hoop. Hinged wire closing into a faceted bead at the top of the decorative edge.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 4.5cm
  • Depth: 0.8cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Cross. (On wire.)
Summary
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 Piedmont. Its stamped decoration is very similar to that on crosses from the same region, and from those across the border in France. Simple hoop earrings, often very large and with facetted or domed decoration, were common throughout central and northern Italy in the 19th century, and are still widely worn today.



This earring was bought for £1 16s. (the pair) as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.
Bibliographic Reference
'Italian Jewellery as worn by the Peasants of Italy', Arundel Society, London, 1868, Plate 1
Collection
Accession Number
423-1868

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record createdNovember 28, 2008
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