It's so interesting to see jewelry from long ago. Egypt, the land of hot golden sun, green oases and potent magic, produced some of the most spectacular, colorful jewels of the ancient world. Accessories like big gold hoops, plug-style earrings, scarabs and ropes of lapis lazuli beads are still worn today!
Shown aboveis a pair of golden "penannular" style earrings, which Pierre, Nancy and Marcel got to see in person at the Worcester Art Museum last summer.
Earrings like this would have been worn with the ear lobe pulled through the narrow slot in each hoop and secured by tension. These earrings would most likely have been first worn in youth, when it was easier to put on the earrings, and worn throughout the person's life.
Shown aboveis a limestone relief, depicting a "divine child" wearing a penannular style hoop earring. Courtesy of the MET museum.
A wall mural depicting the interior of an Ancient Egyptian workshop. Artisans are chasing and forming a variety of golden objects. It would have been within a workshop like this that the big gold hoops would have been crafted.
How were these big gold hoops made? These earrings may appear to be solid gold from the outside, but they are actually made from carved wood and thick gold sheeting. To achieve a lightweight earring, an artisan created a wooden structure to serve as the base of the earring. The gold sheet was layered over the wood base and burnished so finely that no trace of any seams remained.
Click the first image of the hoops to see a pair of earrings from our collection made in a similar fashion, with a sheet of 24k gold applied over a base of oxidized silver.
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