The origin of upper class Tourism
These gorgeous Antique Mosaic earrings are a stunning reminder of what was a well known 17th and 18th century tradition - the Grand Tour. It was a popular tradition undertaken by wealthy upper class young English men to embark on a 'grand tour' through Europe; as a part of 'aristocratic education' and almost like a rite of passage associated with British nobility.
These travellers would often bring back lavish items as souvenirs to bring back home to their loved ones.
These Mosaic earrings are a gorgeous example of such a souvenir - made of coloured glass which is cut and fitted by hand into a mosaic depicting floral arrangements.
Often the mosaics would be purchased as is, and then brought back home to be mounted into various jewellery styles. These earrings are set into antique sterling silver frames and shepherd hooks.
Estimated to date back to the mid 19th century , approximately c.1870s