This beautiful earring and its mate (1981.5.16/7) were fabricated with emeralds, rubies, pearls and gold. The backside is ornamented with blue, green and red-orange enamel, in scrolling floral motifs. These jewels were most likely made in Fes, or Meknes. In this technique, craftsmen engraved a decorative pattern into the metal, before applying a paste of colored glass in the recesses, which was then melted through heating. Inlaid enamel decorative techniques were both popular in Nasrid Spain (1232–1492), and were likely brought to Morocco by Muslim craftsmen who emigrated from Al-Andalus before or during the 15th century Reconquista.
Marguerite McBey, Tangier, Morocco (until 1981; gifted to MMA)
Jenkins-Madina, Marilyn, and Manuel Keene. Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1983. no. 75, p. 134, ill. (color).