Scattered Thoughts From A Maryland Cottage

Scattered Thoughts From A Maryland Cottage
The Yin and Yang of Thankfulness

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A little story about teeny Seed pearls

Antiques Roadshow...
believed to be once owned
by Marie Antoinette
A seed pearl is a natural pearl and weighs less than a quarter of a grain and is less than 2 mm in diameter in size. Can you imagine working with something so small to design a piece of fine jewelry? Once a cottage industry, pieces were often made by young men and women with small hands and good eyes.
Jewelers brought most seed pearls from India and China. They were strung on silk or white horsehair. In the mid 19th century, fashions became fuller and heavier. Because of the styles, seed pearl pieces became so large that that they were eventually made with metal supports.
By the 18th century and throughout the 19th century, pearls were very much in fashion. Victorians liked the delicate look, almost lace-like pieces against their skin and associated it with purity. They were often given as bridal gifts.
I hope you've enjoyed a bit of history on a style of jewelry I have always thought of as lovely. Jennifer

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