Ear-ring sale offers gems from history
Monday 24 October 1994
The most curious example in the sale is a pair of early 19th century plaited drop earrings made from human hair, estimated to fetch pounds 150- pounds 200. The fashion for such mourning jewellery - often made of out of locks from deceased relatives - began in the early 1800s, when child labour was often used. The 19th century fascination with natural forms, partly the result of scientific progress and exploration, inspired novelty ear-rings such as the mid-19th century pair of real tropical beetles, expected to sell for pounds 400- pounds 600; the lion's claw ear-rings ( pounds 150- pounds 200) and the gold fly ear-rings ( pounds 500- pounds 700).
The sale on 1 November also features another fashion, created by the industrial revolution, for ear-rings shaped as buckets, pulleys or anvils, and the taste for arrows, amphorae and cupids inspired by 19th-century archaeological discoveries in Knossos, Rhodes and Melos.
One of the most valuable examples at the sale will be the mid-19th century rock crystal, emerald and ruby girandole drop ear-rings estimated to fetch pounds 800- pounds 1,000.
Other beautiful items include the gold and blue topaz multi-drop ear-rings with enamel decoration and imitation pearl ( pounds 300- pounds 400) and the enameled Austro-Hungarian drop ear-rings - offered with a similar pair at a guide price of pounds 100- pounds 200.
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