Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Double Drop and Single Drop Paste Earrings

Maryland Gazette July 1772

     Just love how Benjamin Rogers was selling paste "ear-rings" in Baltimore, Maryland in 1772!  

     I mentioned in my prior post on Georgian Girandoles that I had two additional style earrings, and I do!  These are lovely double drop (not to be confused with the two-stone) and single drop paste earrings that are also a collaboration with Duchessa.  Once these arrived, a photo shoot was planned to show them off in a state of dress and undress!  

     (Please note as of this writing - there is only one double drop left in the oxidized silver style.)

The Double Drop in gold - put them on before I put on my gown - Wow!
(Photo by Jim McGaughey)

     The double drop style can be seen in the 17th centuries up to today.  I often think of pearls most particularly in the 17th, with these being seen more in extant examples in the mid-18th and all through the 19th.  But, because I haven't seen everything (gasp!) it is not surprising that my writing is in general terms.  The settings in this case are reproductions as you see in the 18th and 19th centuries.  They are so lovely and are very lightweight.  They are also, as in the girandole reproductions, a clip-on style, very comfortable, and measure 1-1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide.

     Remember, your earring should not hang at an angle below your ear to get a really proper look.

Double Drop Earrings sold on Ruby Lane were a part of the Albion Art Collection.
Note the earwire on this is above the top piece AND the bottom detaches.  So the top could be worn without the bottom possibly for day wear

     By the 1830's, long earrings reaching almost to the shoulders became extremely popular in various styles to counterbalance the side expansion of the elaborate hairstyles.  You see some of that also in the 1780's with the wide hedgehog wig, but in many cases, portraiture does not show earrings at all with that style with a focus more on the hair/cap/hats.  That doesn't mean they didn't wear them or have them on.  The double drop emulates the longer style very nicely (there are even longer styles in the pendant, pendeloque and iberian earrings of the time and variations inbetween).  This is also subjective to the size of the lady as we are all different!

These are also clip on style - and gorgeous.

     "Paste - glass has been used to imitate gemstones from the earliest days of adornment, but paste is one of the great joys of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Pastes were not seen as faux gems made solely to copy, but as exciting jewels in their own right.  The care and workmanship that went into the best pieces produced glorious jewelry that would have shone at the greatest occasions... Unlike diamonds - where size matters - the stones could be cut into any shape required which meant that the setting (usually of silver) could be almost invisible.  The stones would also be foiled to add extra brilliance and further catch and reflect light."  ~ Georgian Jewellery by Ginny Reddington Dawes

Queen Alexandra, 1883

     Today's paste are rhinestones, very affordable, and can be purchased foiled or unfoiled.  I often use the foiled version in my jewelry creations.  In my other collaboration on riviere collet necklaces - they are unfoiled.  You can read about that also here on my blog - at this link.

Single Paste drop - are earwires - the perfect size for those who do not like dangle earrings

     The single drop earring is also still very popular, and hung down just a bit from the ear or was right up on the ear as if they had a wire on the back like the post style we know today.  The post style did not get patented until the early 20th century.

Original 8ct Georgian Paste Earrings
(Laurelle Antique Jewelry)

     You can see an original example above, and notice the settings are very similar to the reproductions I'm offering, but you can also see that this pair would be close to the ear as the wire is on the back of the setting and does not look to have been modified.  It is always best to not wear an earring that hangs at an angle below the ear - as it doesn't look quite right.  These hang perfectly based upon the weight and style.

Available in Oxidized Silver and Gold-Plate Earwires

In my gorgeous green silk gown made by The Silly Sisters - the paste single drop earrings sit beautifully in the ear and are not heavy