Date: 17th century
Medium: Gold, enamel, pearl, emerald, ruby
Dimensions: 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Marguerite McBey, 1981
Accession Number: 1981.5.16
This earring and 1981.5.17 have several features reminiscent of Roman and even earlier types. The hoop ear wire, with the stone set at the front and the hinge connecting it to the stone-set box element, is perhaps the most telling of these features, since the wrapped-wire method of suspending pearls and stones was in almost universal practice since ancient times. The settings, in which the gold is cut away and pushed up over the edge of the stones, are not unrelated to those on jewelry from Iran, India, and Europe during this period. The emeralds are of good quality and probably reflect their relative availability after the influx into the East of material from Colombia following the Spanish Conquest.