Antique French earrings ear pendants. 18k yellow gold and turquoise. Made 19th century, France.
Measurements: 3 1/4 inches (8.5cm) long. Weight is 11.0 grams.
Please see below for full description.
Description : Composed of gradated intertwined loops of gold ribbon descending to a large, star-like flower with golden spheres in their midst and golden spheres below them with a final scrolling terminal with a fan-shaped shell at the bottom. Between each loop is a globe of gold, giving the appearance of the knot in the center of a bow and thus creating the appearance of a series of stylised bows. Petals/foliage of the flowers with a finely textured surface. Surmounts are small half-spheres adorned in front with flowers, set with turquoise cabochons in their centers. The small upper sections can be worn alone by day and the extremely compelling, long drops for more important occasions at night. For this reason, these are known in English as Day/Night or Top/Drop earrings.
These earrings are extremely rare and sought after in France, where they are called 'Milanos', a reference to the many gradating, loops. They were part of the regional costume of Boulogne and an almost identical pair is shown in Claudette Joannis's book Bijoux des regions de France (page 78).
<P><P> The earrings are fully 3-dimentional. Their construction is quite remarkable. Each section can twist and turn independently, resulting in a slinky, luxurious feeling - totally flexible and full of movement.
Besides their superb appearance and stunning "wow looks", these earrings are remarkable for their light weight. Despite the incredible length and size, they are extremely light, making them comfortable to wear and will not distend the earlobes. Fantastic appearance, totally versatile, they can be worn with the most casual outfit to the most elegant function.
Marks and Metal: Tops and loops of drops are hallmarked with French eagle head for 18k gold. Maker's mark with 3 elements: An M in the center and what appears to be a heart on its right. The element on the left is not clear - could be a goblet.
Condition: There are clear condition issues. The upper sections and 'bow' sections are in good condition. The back of one of the large 'flowers' had significant restoration as the very thin gold was tattered and had also been restored in one place in the past. It has been stabilised and secured, but looking at the back, you can clearly see that it was worked on. The front is almost perfect, but the outer edge (far left side) of one earring has a small trace of restoration. Most of these faults will not be noticeable when the earrings are worn. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
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