HORACE WELCH Art Deco 14kt "Floating Opal" Earrings
Originally a mechanical engineer, Horace Welch was the original inventor of the "Floating Opal." This delightful jewelry creation consists of delicate opal chips that float freely within a glass bulb, and they reached widespread appeal and popularity. Welch first conceived of the idea in 1920, and spent the remainder of his career patenting and perfecting the design, until his death in 1947. After his passing, the adoration of his Floating Opal design lived on, and multiple companies began producing their own versions once his patent expired. However, the original Horace Welch designs always have a special place among collectors, and remain a tribute to Welch's ingenuity and lifelong work.
A gorgeous pair of Horace Welch "Floating Opal" earrings from the late Art Deco (ca1929-1931) era! Each earring is comprised of a hand blown glass bulb, which holds numerous floating opal pieces inside. The vibrant opal chunks float freely in glycerin, allowing slow movement of the colors to sparkle and shimmer in the light. A decorative 14kt yellow gold tulip-shaped cap, accented with a gorgeous elongated heart motif finishes the design perfectly. Stamped on the top of each cap is a "14K" gold purity mark beside "PATS. PEND." which dates the earrings between 1929-1931, during which time Horace Welch waited for his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th patents. The earrings hang from gold-filled hinged lever-back wires, allowing them to dangle with lovely movement, framing the face beautifully. Perfect for the opal lover or vintage jewelry collector, these unique earrings would make a wonderful everyday accessory!
Measurements: The earrings hang approximately 1 1/2" long (including the wires at the top), and measure slightly less than 1/2" wide and thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting and the glass bulb and opal fragments inside remain in good condition. The gold-filled lever-back earring wires are secure and in good working condition.