1950s Marcasite and Pearl Earrings
The story of marcasite jewellery has been told for centuries: A magical gift from the gods for the Incas and Ancient Greeks and beauty's best kept secret for our favourite queen, Cleopatra.
But it was in the 18th and 19th centuries that marcasite flourished amongst all the fashionistas. Queen Victoria wore marcasite jewellery as a substitute for diamonds in an attempt to be more frugal. The everyday woman couldn't afford to buy real diamonds offered a beautiful alternative and became affordable for everyone.
A lot of skill is required in the setting of marcasites into jewellery. The stones are brittle and crumble if handled in the wrong way. Antique pieces that have managed to survived have thus become sought after collector pieces.
These earrings are a perfect example of the skill required in setting each of these brittle stones by hand. Alot of time and patience goes into such pieces so that they can be admired for generations to come. You can tell a good quality piece by how much these sparkle.... and this pair does not disappoint!
Dozens of tiny hand set and facetted marcasite are set into sterling silver with centre simulated pearl accents. The silver settings have beautiful engraved and millegrain edging. The silver has a beautiful oxidised patina which adds to the beauty of the pair. The earrings are hung from new stainless steel earwires.
HOW TO WEAR:
Care should be taken when wearing these earrings given the fragility of the stones. They should be kept away from chemicals so try to put the earrings on after all of your makeup and spraying your perfume and hairspray. The earrings should not be submerged in water and it is recommended they be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth.
This pair are in excellent condition. All original stones present. Pearls are without any scratches. They seem as though they were worn for only the most fancy of parties :)
Mid-Century - 1950s.
The earrings measure 47mm in length excluding the wire. These wires add an additional 11mm in length (these wires are very small - if you prefer a larger one please just send a message and I can change them free of charge).
The earrings measure 23mm at their widest point.
Hallmarks: None but the original damaged screw backs were stamped STERLING
Materials: Sterling Silver, Marcasites, Stainless Steel
Provenance: London, England