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  • Place of origin:

    Syria (made)

  • Date:

    1860-1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold filigree with pendent seed pearls

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This earring was bought, as one of a pair, at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1867. Henry Cole, the director of the South Kensington Museum, as the V&A was then known, had just bought a large collection of Italian peasant jewellery, and decided to buy examples of peasant jewellery from other countries for comparative purposes. This piece was described as ‘modern Turkish (Syria)’

Its delicate gold filigree and tiny seed pearl pendants might not be considered typical of Syrian traditional jewellery today, when heavy ethnic silver is much better known. But the jewellery worn in towns, which is often Ottoman or western in style, was often very different from that worn by the nomadic Bedouin. This piece was put on display in Paris in 1867 as an example of high-quality Syrian gold work, and there is no reason to think that it is not typical of what was worn there at the time.

Physical description

Gold filigree pendent earring hanging from a circular wire. The wire is completely plain, apart from a small ring soldered to its lowest point. From this hangs a shallow open filigree dome with seven seed pearl pendants round its rim and a bi-conical hollow filigree pendant hanging from its centre. The bi-conical pendant has three seed pearl pendants hanging from its centre, and nine round the circumference where the two cones meet.

Place of Origin

Syria (made)


1860-1867 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Gold filigree with pendent seed pearls


Length: 4.4 cm

Descriptive line

Gold filigree hollow conical earring with seed pearl pendants, Syria, 1860-1867.

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

Illustrated in:
'Italian Jewellery as worn by The Peasants of Italy. Collected by Signor Castellani, and purchased from the Paris Universal Exhibition for The South Kensington Museum', London, Arundel Society for Promoting the Knowledge of Art, 1868, plate 12, 'Peasant Jewellery. Modern Turkish, Norwegian, Danish', where it and its original pair were included in:
'A Collection of modern Turkish popular Jewellery. Bought in the Turkish Section of the Paris Exhibition, 1867.


Gold; Seed pearls




Jewellery; Metalwork


Middle East Section

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