Kirsten's Corner Jewelry

15K Gold, Pearl & Black Enamel Victorian Tracery Earrings


This gorgeous pair of kinetic, 15 karat gold, seed pearl and black enamel tracery earrings from the Victorian era feature sinuous lines, organic motifs and romance. Their feminine and organic design give these earrings a seductive look. The tracery work on the earrings is quite superb and give the earrings a heightened sense of dimensionality with notable texture. Tracery work, also known as taille d'epargné, is an engraving of lines to form ornate designs that are later filled with black enamel. At times, the engravings have subtle depth variations. This type of tracery work was very popular in the 1850's and was most often seen on mourning jewelry. In French, taille d'epargné translates literally into "saving cut."

The earrings are made of four parts; at the top is an ornate form that is attached to another that resembles an architectural frame, at center there is a flower on a bale and from this a lace-like folding form ends with a gold bead. The distinct center flower made from a singular seed pearl catches our eyes and draws us to these earrings. The curling and rounded forms against the hard edges are reminiscent of architectural revival jewelry. The earrings showcase some fantastic details, such as black enamel work, and bright-cut work. These kinetic earrings have lovely swing to them, and the folded lower dangling form that is attached to the center flower adds a nice balance to the overall composition of the earrings.

Each earrings is approximately 1 1/4 inches by 1/2 inch wide. Each earring contains a tiny detail seed pearl that is approximately 1mm. The earrings reveal the fine craftsmanship of the Victorian era. They are in great condition except for a minor repair, only visible when the earrings are turned over and inspected, and not worn. At the piercing is a minor solder repair (see images), but this cannot be seen when the earrings are being worn. The enamel on these earrings is in good condition and the earrings wear nicely. Together, these earrings weigh 5 grams. Although these earrings are unmarked I have acid-tested them as 15kt gold.

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