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Victorian Fringe Pendant Earrings


Created in the mid 1860s to 1870s, these fringe earrings, likely of English origin, are composed of 18K gold. Each is designed as a smaller sphere suspending a shaped element with abstract engraving bound by a band with applied spherules, and a larger orb with flexible tapering fringe. With their strong geometric elements and intriguing movement, these warm gold pendant earrings enliven the face with their antique-to-modern beauty.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: ER-20436
Country: Probably England
Circa: 1860s-1870s
Size:  2.00” length x 0.75” width
Materials: 18K gold (weighing 8.6 grams)
Literature: For examples of English orb and fringe earrings from the 1860s, see Victorian Jewellery, by Margaret Flower, p. 162.

Longer all-gold earrings began to appear in the late 1860s to early 1870s, and would have been worn during the daytime, with upswept hair. By 1876, fashionable earrings had become so long that they became entangled with bonnet strings, and evening models touched the shoulders. In this rare case, jewelry design pushed back against the demands of couture: the popularity of these long earrings caused bonnet strings to be replaced by other means of securing bonnets to the head. As usual, however, per the vagaries of fashion, by the 1880s long earrings had been replaced by dainty ones.