French paste is a Vintage jewelry term used to describe the practice of using faceted cut glass, cut in the shape of a real gemstone, instead of using real gems. This process, which was developed in the 1700's, created the look of a sparkling gemstone or diamond but cost much less than real stones.
A fantastic pair of French paste earrings from the late Victorian (ca1900) era! These dramatic earrings are quite substantial in length, and feature an ensemble of French paste crystals that rest in a closed foil back setting. Each crystal is individually bezel set and beautifully faceted, catching the light when worn. Forming the lower portion of each earring is an elongated link that swings from the decorative surmount, giving motion to the design. At the top are simple gold wires, which clasp securely in the back. Despite their unusual length, the earrings are lightweight and comfortable to wear. Although these particular earrings were crafted in the Victorian era, they have a wonderful Georgian inspired design that would look magnificent worn on special occasions!
Measurements: Each earring hangs 2 3/4" in total length (including the wires). They measure 1/2" at the widest point, and are 3/16" thick.
Condition: The earrings remain in very good antique condition. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the silver setting or clasped wires. All of the French paste stones are intact and securely set. There is a natural patina on the surface of the silver, which is a normal characteristic of antique jewelry. Some color variation to the metal is present on the front of one earring near the base, but does not detract from the beauty of the design.