Cut steel jewelry originated in England in the 17th century and subsequently spread throughout Europe, eventually becoming a popular style of jewelry worn by members of high society during the Victorian era. Made of polished faceted steel studs, the pieces were cut by hand and then assembled and riveted onto a metal back. The faceted steel elements give this type of jewelry a subtle, metallic glitter that resembles cut gemstones. Motifs varied from the simple to the sublime, with multiple layers and densely packed studs. The time-consuming process and the artistry required to create cut steel jewelry made it very valuable and highly sought-after during the Victorian age, particularly to wear during the stage of "secondary mourning." Produced up until the turn of the 19th century, antique cut steel jewelry is now highly collectible.
These gorgeous earrings are a remarkable example of cut steel jewelry from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Particularly large in size, they display wonderful craftsmanship and have a beautiful and dramatic look. Each earring begins with a flower-like cluster surmount which attaches to sterling screwbacks. A long V-shaped link hangs from the cluster topper and a smooth rock quartz crystal teardrop hangs from the center, dangling in between the ends of the open "V". The entire front surface of each earring s comprised of dozens of delicate cut steel studs, which vary in size and shape. Each piece is riveted into a sterling back, which reveals the handmade workmanship on the reverse side of each. The combination of the rock quartz crystal with the cut steel is very unusual and the earrings have a wonderful look when worn. The back of the screwback posts are stamped "MADE IN FRANCE". Beautiful and artistic, they would make an impressive addition to any collection!
Measurements: The earrings hang approximately 3" long, are 3/4" wide and 3/8" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the metal and all of the faceted cut steel studs are intact and in good condition.