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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.
A type of ear ornament of pre-Columbian jewelry worn in a large hole made in a greatly distended ear-lobe.
It was made of gold or tumbaga as a cylindrical tube that was inserted in the lobe and that had affixed to the front a circular frame, often ornamented with cut-out designs and repoussé work. A rear section was attached telescopically to the tubular section to secure it to the lobe. It was worn in the same manner as an ear-flare.
Some examples were further decorated with suspended ornaments, sometimes in the form of a fringe of snake-like dangles. The wearing of ear-spools by the Incas of Peru was restricted to the adult male nobility, a custom dating back to the Chavín culture, c. 900 BC.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson