Earring, One of a Pair

Object Name: Earring

Date: 18th–20th century

Geography: Attributed to Morocco

Medium: Gold, emerald, ruby, champlevé enamel, and pearl

Dimensions: H: 3 1/8 in. (8 cm)
W: 1 in. (2.5 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Gift of Marguerite McBey, 1981

Accession Number: 1981.5.16


This beautiful earring and its mate (1981.5.16/7) were fabricated with emeralds, rubies, pearls and gold. The backside is ornamented with blue, green and red-orange enamel, in scrolling floral motifs. These jewels were most likely made in Fes, or Meknes. In this technique, craftsmen engraved a decorative pattern into the metal, before applying a paste of colored glass in the recesses, which was then melted through heating. Inlaid enamel decorative techniques were both popular in Nasrid Spain (1232–1492), and were likely brought to Morocco by Muslim craftsmen who emigrated from Al-Andalus before or during the 15th century Reconquista.