Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pair of Earrings

Object Name:
19th century
Attributed to Iran
Gold, pearls; enamel-painted
H. 2 1/2 in. (6.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Irma B. Wilkinson, 1979
Accession Number:
1979.460.1a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 462
Enamel is a glass paste heat-fused to decorate the surface of a variety of objects. The proliferation of this technique on metalwork may be attributed to the influence of European and Russian enameled wares sent to Persia as diplomatic gifts in the 17th century. Shortly thereafter, the position of court enameler (mīnāsāz-bāšī) was established, indicating that European techniques had been mastered by Persian craftsmen. These colorful chandelier-shaped earrings illustrate such proficiency, in which the careful application of polychrome pigments creates detailed and vibrant flower designs. These are typical examples of enamel-painted jewelry produced in the Qajar period (19th century).
Irma B. Wilkinson, Sharon, CT (until 1979; gifted to MMA)
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