Rare early Sibyl Dunlop Arts and Crafts hand-crafted drop earrings with jade and spinel c1920


Beautiful, antique hand-crafted earrings, which sing English Arts and Crafts, Sibyl Dunlop, c1920

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A most spectacular pair of c1920 hand-crafted Arts and Crafts drop cruciform earrings, firmly attributed to Sibyl Dunlop, London. These are a beautiful, antique homage to the ideals of Arts and Crafts in every sense. To start with, the red and purple/cornflower spinel cabochons have evidently been repurposed from a previous piece of jewellery. They each have a small hole where they would have been threaded onto a necklace-prior to their use in these earrings. Perhaps this was an early commission (it was known for family members who’d inherited older pieces to request a repurposing of the gems into something they would most likely wear more often) or equally it could have been the typical Arts and crafts designer using those gem stones of exactly the right colour and designing jewellery in which to place them. I did once come across a Bernard Instone bracelet, in which old Chinese gem stone buttons had been repurposed-of course, it was beautiful!

The earrings have a round cabochon of jade at the lobe section and from there, a hinge is employed, which suspends the cruciform openwork main section. The spinels in the centre of the design are of a lilac / cornflower blue colour. The raspberry pink spinels set around the central stone look beautiful too. At first I thought they may have been pink tourmalines, but they tested as much harder and lit up the “spinel” section on the gem tester. All stones are intact without damage and all are claw-set.

If you consider the verso, you can see every tiny bit of silver work that has gone into the creation of these wonderful earrings. They have been fitted in the past with simple silver hooks so you can pop them straight on comfortably. They are antique beauties and as such, more of a special occasion wear, rather than everyday wear. They are special things indeed. They measure approx 3cm in height. Wires are not completely straight as you would expect.

I shall send in the box you see in the images, as they are a little long for many of the earrings boxes I have. Complimentary Special Delivery within the UK is included, as is express courier internationally. Thank you.