Kirsten's Corner

Etruscan Revival Pear Shaped Drop with Cannetille Work and Geometric Shapes


This gold-filled pendulum charm features delicate cannetille work highlighted by a lovely patina. Once a hat pin, this piece was converted into a pear-shaped drop pendant by adding a bail so that the piece can be worn on a chain. The cannetille wiring has been hand-twisted into tiny circles that cover the body of the pendulum, a labor intensive process with acute attention to detail. At the base of the drop, five geometric shapes are cut out of the cannetille work and are outlined with diamond-shaped wiring. Circa 1870, this piece is part of the Etruscan Revival, and is the tiniest wirework from that era that we’ve seen in quite a while.

The wirework of the pendulum tests as 14k gold, and the base is gold-filled. The pendant has recently been rebloomed in 18k gold to give it a fresh new luster.

Etruscan Revival jewelry has a rich and interesting history. In the early 1800’s there was a large excavation of Etruscan tombs outside of Rome. Within these tombs were pieces of original Etruscan jewelry. The Etruscans were master artisans, they created breathtaking pieces of jewelry through their use of gold wirework and granulation, colored gemstones and glass. The news of the excavation of these tombs, and the treasures contained inside them, spread throughout Europe. Etruscan style jewelry captured the imagination of the public and soon jewelers were intrigued by the designs. Etruscan Revival jewelry rose to popularity with the people of the Victorian era. Inspired by the Etruscans, jewelers implemented the use of wirework, beading, filigree and granulation.

The charm weighs 6.2 grams and is approximately 3/4” tall and 1/2” wide not including the bail. The 14k gold bail is proportional to the charm and is 8mm x 5.5mm.

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