Vintage Earrings – Why So Many Clip-Ons?

4 Aug

While shopping at Eons Fashion Antique again today for a birthday gift for Ivori, my gorgeous Big in Delta Delta Delta, I stumbled upon these vintage early 60’s (correct me if I am wrong) earrings:

I felt these would suit her perfectly, the free-spirited person she is.  You will meet her in a later post 🙂

These earrings happened to be one of six pairs of non-clip-on earrings in Eons.  The rest, and there were millions more, were all clip-ons!!!  When I was a bit baffled by the lack of earrings for pierced ears, Tom at Eons offered me up the most interesting explanation:

In the early 20th century, pierced ears began to fade away because those of ‘civilized’ cultures believed them to be unsanitary and barbaric.  If you had pierced ears during this time, you were most likely from an ethnic group (such as the Italians or the Romani) or a prostitute.  This began a movement of screw back earrings and later, clip-on earrings.  It was not until 1947 when Queen Elizabeth, then Princess Elizabeth, received the King George VI Chandelier Earrings, consisting of every cut of diamond, as a wedding present from her parents, the current King and Queen of the time.  She did not have her ears pierced and chose to do so in order to wear them.  When the Princess did not turn into a prostitute or die from the ‘unsanitary’ procedure,  the women of the time saw her decision as an approval of pierced ears and subsequently doctors and jewelers saw a rise in the demand for pierced ears.

If I received these as a gift, I’d pierce my ears, too, whether deemed unsanitary or not! They are gorgeous!



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