Japanese art became a major inspiration to artists and makers in the West following the forced re-opening of foreign trade with Japan in 1858. The origins of Art Nouveau in the decades to come can in many instances be traced back to this surge of artwork from the East. This pair of shakudo earrings, circa 1880, are an exquisite example of the shakudo art form depicting a musician and a dancer. Shakudo is a Japanese alloy of copper and gold which often has a darkened blue patina. The production of shakudo was seen mostly in the late 19th and early 20th century with there being several examples of Western jewellers incorporating elements of shakudo into brooches, earrings and bracelets. The shepherd's hooks have been tested as a low karat gold, likely 9 karat, and whilst could be later replacements, are sympathetic to the earrings. The pair are an exquisite example of the Japanese shakudo technique which are certain to gain admirers when worn.
Marked - unmarked however hooks XRF test as low karat gold (likely 9 karat)
Measures - 2.5cm L (including hook) x 2cm W
Total weight of pair - 6.9 grams