- Precious Metal Weight: Approx. 1.55 dwt
- Precious Metal Material: 14k Yellow Gold
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 12.0-12.4 mm overall; 5.0-5.5 mm depths; ~12.0 mm approx. drop from lobe
- Weight: 2.42 grams together
- Markings: None
- Era: Est. c. 1840-1860 (some aspects indicate one date range, while others indicate a later period)
- Buyer Notes: This pair of earrings is a very rare set, likely custom made as a gift, created by the hands of an expert jeweler. To our knowledge, they bear all original components, including their original ear wires, and do not appear to have had any pearls replaced. The dainty goldwork has remained beautifully intact, their wires are slim and comfortable, and they are both light as a feather to wear. Please note that the base of one of the ear wires was re-soldered to its decorative basket at some point in its history, as pictured. You may see that the gold is a bit excessive where this repair was made, leaving some darker solder on the interior of that basket setting. Though visible upon close inspection, this trait is not at all visible when worn due to the depth and design of the earrings. Though perfectly commensurate with age, the price has been set to fairly reflect the presence of this quality.
- Center Stone Type: Pearls
- Center Stone Count: Twenty-Four (24) total
- Center Stone Dimensions: 1.0 to 2.0 mm ea. (largest set in the shamrock shapes)
- Center Stone Shape: Halved & Semi
- Center Stone Color: White-Cream to very Light Warm Gray-Champagne
Meticulously crafted by hand in the 19th century, these earrings are modeled in rich 14k yellow gold and encrusted with a robust spread of lustrous pearls. Each earring is complete with a three-leaf stemmed shamrock, each leaf studded with a pearl and dimpled at its end, thus forming a trio of heart pearled shapes. These shamrocks are affixed to the earrings only on their top leaf, causing them to seemingly ‘float’ within the opening of the jewel. Even their curved stems appear to delicately billow within the open space. As a halo above both shamrocks is a crescent moon made of dainty pearls, articulated with shared, bead-set prongs. A grouping of three raised gold roundels trails the endpoints of the crescent contours so as to allude to the ethereal nature of the moon. These endpoints, then, continue and connect to complete the circular face of the earring.
Although minimally-dropped earrings of this fashion were worn during previous period, they became most popular during the Victorian era: this style earring is a variety of dormeuse earrings, or colloquially known as ‘sleeper’ earrings, worn most prevalently during Queen Victoria’s mourning period, during which time hairstyles covered the ears and precluded the adornment of earrings during daytime hours. As such, dormeuse earrings were created for women to wear at nighttime, originally made very simply, with a single diamond or gem that hung from a hoop or latch close to the lobe. Ladies would wear them while sleeping so as to keep their pierced lobes from closing, a risk presented by the lack of daytime earring wear. Over time, this style grew to be worn for daytime wear as well, with more elaborate designs made for evening wear.
This pair stands apart from other earrings from this period, in that it is composed of characteristics that were designed and beloved in disparate eras: the front-closing latch, in which the ear wire secured within a small loop or tube, was an invention of the late Georgian era, just after the turn of the 18th to19th century. Likewise, the fastening technique used for the central pearls on these earrings-- wherein a small peg or brad secures the gems to a flat surface mounting-- also primarily dates to the late 1700s through mid 1800s.
On the other hand, the pierced linear basket setting of the overall earring is one that appears to be of Mid Victorian origins, somewhat curious in light of the Georgian traits of the pair. Furthermore, the actual motif of the shamrock and the crescent moon are Mid to Late Victorian in design, as these were the influences of broader world travel by the rising middle class, and increased trade with the Middle East. As Victorians had an affection for symbolism, their jewels depicted very meaningful messages through themes and imagery, using ‘foreign’ cultural subjects to represent lessons and blessings alike:
The shamrock is a well known symbol for good fortune, though when designed with three leaves, it also conveyed loyalty, amiability, integrity, muliebrity and fecundity. Additionally, St. Patrick believed it as a metaphor for the mystery of the Holy Trinity, in which God is also Spirit and Christ, a perfect triune that shows God as a father, God as a son, sacrifice and atoner, and God as a living essence indwelling in all human beings. These combined symbolisms cascade from these earrings, as the shamrocks’ leaves form trios of hearts. As well, pearls are believed to be protective amulets, guarding the wearer from harm and suffering, while also bestowing grace and honor to the wearer. Lastly, the crescent shape expresses the ephemerality of life, the waning and waxing and ebbs and flows; it reminds the wearer of life’s fragility while also encouraging the life-giving relationship with the Divine, as the cyclical nature of life is, itself, a story of ceaseless and promised redemption.
In summation, these earrings were far more valuable to their original owner than for the sake of mere precious materials and vanity; these earrings relayed messages of God’s promise and protection to the wearer, and inspired conscious living and faithful loving. Every bit of these earrings masterfully articulate their maker’s skills and the Maker’s eternal affection for people. Through gold and pearls, a complex message is proudly shared, and a poignant period in history is recalled. These are a true treasure of an unparalleled time in jewelry antiquity, and are as collectible as they are wearable.
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General Information: All additional jewelry boxes, ring boxes, and other jewelry items pictured alongside a featured listing are considered props, are for photographic and display purposes only and are not included in the transaction unless otherwise noted. Items do not come with physical documentation, appraisals, or certifications, unless explicitly stated in the item description and/or title. While jewelry is inspected upon procurement by the shop as well as prior to shipment, Revival Fine Jewelry cannot guarantee a warranty once items leave our inventory, given the delicate and individual nature of secondhand articles and the unaccountability of buyer handling post-purchase.
Shipping: All orders are carefully packed within a branded Revival Fine Jewelry gift box, secured with recycled materials when possible, and shipped within a discreet outer shipping parcel. All orders ship with tracking, insurance and signature confirmation. Shipping options are presented at checkout. Per law and inegrity, international orders are always marked as commodity imports and customers are responsible for any and all customs expenses, VAT taxes and import fees, as well as any clearance costs legally dictated by their respective destination countries. These expenses are not calculated into the pricing structure, and returns based on import costs will not be permitted.
Returns: While Revival Fine Jewelry aims to provide a smooth experience from start to finish, customers are encouraged to reach out regarding any issue or dissatisfaction, so that we may work together toward a resolution. If a return is desired, the shop must be notified of an intention to return within 3 days of confirmed delivery, and item(s) must be shipped back to the shop within 7 days of confirmed delivery. All materials (gift box, inserts, cards) must be returned with the item(s). Returns declared after the 3 day window and/or postmarked after 7 days of receipt will neither be accepted nor refunded. Customers are responsible for generating an insured return shipping label (international customers included) and relaying the tracking information to Revival Fine Jewelry. Returns that do not include full insurance and/or tracking, and are damaged or lost in transit, will not be refunded. If a return is accepted, customers will be refunded less the original cost of shipping, handling and insurance, the expense of any damages incurred, and a 10% restocking fee (of the original purchase price). All sale items, items altered or resized by the buyer post-purchase, and all storage/ boxes are considered final sale and are ineligible for a return or refund.
Sale Terms: Sale prices are only valid within the prescribed sale window, unless otherwise stated by Revival Fine Jewelry or agreed upon between Revival Fine Jewelry and a designated customer. To maintain business sustainability and general fairness, individual customers are not entitled to exclusive notification of, or owed access to, store sales antecedently. Orders processed prior to a promotion or sale, items placed on layaway prior to a sale, and payments paid through layaway prior to a sale will not be retroactively adjusted to reflect sale pricing or terms.
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Pricing: Revival Fine Jewelry reserves the right to decrease, increase, alter and modify inventory pricing to meet market rarity, demand or value; to offset platform, transaction or seller's fees; to adapt to economic inflation and fluctuation; and to defray specific business expenses. Pricing is the sole discretion of every small business.
Regarding Brooches & Pins: Often significantly and curiously undervalued jewelry items, brooches, pins and stick pins are treasured pieces of history in this shop. Accordingly, their pricing is calculated analogous to other fine jewelry, including their symbolic meaning, rarity and historical prestige. Such pieces are typically converted to other forms of jewelry, and are therefore becoming increasingly rare in their original states. Aside from being perfectly wearable as sophisticated lapel ornaments, brooches and pins of all kinds are prime candidates for many kinds of fine jewelry conversions, including rings, earrings, pendants, and charms, if so desired by the consumer post-purchase. Revival Fine Jewelry does not perform conversion projects for customers.
Regarding Storage & Boxes: All specifications, including but not limited to the measurements, age, origins, and material compositions are supplied in good faith as professional estimations constructed using professional grade tools, years of learned and honed skills, educational resources and academic scholarship, and refined research methods. Regardless of our confidence in our descriptions and the photographs deemed viable extensions of these descriptions, we cannot guarantee the definitiveness, faultlessness, or exactitude beyond our knowledge and expertise. Kindly keep in mind that this and all items are sold as-is vintage, antique and estate secondhand wares, and consequently bear conditional wear in matter and operation commensurate with age and use.
More information on these, and more, topics may be found in the shop policies.
All layaway terms may be found here, and all shop policies may be found here.
Layaway is available for full priced, non-sale items priced $600.00 USD or greater, and items may not be combined to attain price-eligibility. Plans are offered as 3-month/90-day maximum terms.
In exchange for offering interest-free plans, customers agree to abide and uphold the following nonnegotiable terms and conditions:
• A 30% deposit is due upfront to reserve the item for layaway and pull it from public sale on all of our shopping platforms. Shipping expenses are added to this first payment unless otherwise requested.
• The remaining 70% balance is divided up into three subsequent monthly payments due on the same day of the following three months. If deliquent, a $20.00 USD late fee is added per day to an overdue payment until paid.
• In the event that a layaway installment is left unpaid for seven (7) days and no communication is received from the designated customer, the layaway plan will be presumed abandoned. While the item will be returned to public sale, all payments made hitherto are still considered final.
Layaway items are promptly boxed and shipped to the designated customer once the final payment successfully processes. Taxes, import and other legal fees are not calculated into the payments, and are the sole responsibility of the customer, whether a domestic US or international buyer. Revival Fine Jewelry is not responsible for calculating, covering or adding such costs into purchase prices.
All layaway payments as well as all items purchased through layaway plans are considered final sale; neither payments nor items may be refunded, transferred, exchanged or returned. Revival Fine Jewelry does not issue store credit.
Revival Fine Jewelry reserves the right to cancel any layaway plan at any point for any reason if fraudulant activity is suspected. In this event, the designated customer will be notified prior to the intended cancellation of their plan.
To request a layaway plan, please email us here. Remember to specify your desired item by noting its link, title or code.