Victorian Cut Steel & Onyx Chandelier Earrings
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 stunning example of cut steel jewelry from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Each earring has an elegant chandelier design and displays wonderful craftsmanship. Five strands of cut steel links dangle from a circular surmount at the top. The entire front surface of each earring is comprised of dozens of delicate cut steel studs, which have delicate facets that sparkle in the light. Hanging at the base of each strand is a teardrop link carved from onyx stone. The onyx has a rich, solid black color and is smoothly polished for a glossy finish. Stamped on the back of one of the earrings is "FISHSON" and "PAT. PDG." The earrings hang from simple posts, their elongated design framing the face beautifully when worn. Unique and artistic, these dramatic earrings would make an impressive addition to any collection!
Measurements: The earrings hang approximately 2 5/8" long. They measure 5/8" across at the widest point, and are about 1/16" thick. The dangling onyx teardrops measure 1/4" long and 3/16" thick.
Condition: The earrings remain in very good antique condition. Two of the delicate cut steel studs have previously been replaced with small marcasite stones of the same size and shape. The marcasites resemble cut steel so closely in color and appearance that they are scarcely noticeable, unless examined under close inspection. The dangling chandelier strands dangle freely and are all intact, as are the onyx teardrops, which are free of any noticeable chips or scratches. The posts are secure and in good condition.