Victorian Sterling Vinaigrette Etched Ball Earrings
A vinaigrette is a small filigree container used to hold a perfume-soaked sponge or piece of cotton. Vinaigrette jewelry was worn by ladies during the Victorian era to mask unpleasant odors in their environments. The vinaigrettes were usually very beautifully detailed, and the scents inside generally consisted of alcohol or acetic acid mixed with a desired perfume or essential oils and herbs, such as peppermint, lavender, sage, cinnamon, or rosemary. When the sponge was soaked with only vinegar, it was intended to help prevent the wearer from fainting. Although they are no longer used in the modern day, Victorian-era vinaigrettes are still interesting historical pieces that make beautiful pieces of jewelry!
A wonderful pair of gorgeous vinaigrette earrings from the Victorian era (ca1880)! These beautiful earrings are crafted in sterling silver and display a simple but elegant design. Each earring dangles a polished ball adorned with a stunning swirled leaf motif. Both spheres are hinged, and open to reveal a hollow compartment inside where a desired scent could be stored. The earrings hang from simple wires featuring a delicate ball surmount, completing the decorative design. Stamped at the base of each sphere is a "STERLING" silver purity mark, along with three small cutout holes, allowing the scent to travel outside of the enclosed space. The earrings frame the face beautifully and dangle with lovely movement. They would make a fabulous and unusual addition to any collection!
Measurements: The earrings hang approximately 2 1/2" long, including the wire tops. The hollow ball links have a 3/4" diameter (approximately 20mm in size). The spear links measure 7/8" long and about 1/8" thick. The ball surmounts measure 8mm in size.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling setting, etched detail, or hanging links. The wires are secure and in good condition.