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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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W-shaped earring

A type of earring in the general shape of the letter W, formed by a splayed, coiled rod or by a wire with two descending loops of which the inner arms rise to form a high narrow central loop. Examples are known from c. 800 BC - 600 BC, mainly from Rhodes and Melos. Decorated versions have the outer ends topped with small horizontal discs, and others have superimposed on the discs the heads of griffins or a pomegranate ornament: on some the ornamented discs are turned outward. On later examples the apex of the central curve is masked by an embossed rosette.

Such earrings were worn suspended from a thin wire passing through the earlobe.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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