Natalie Pin up

Jewellery Glossary: Girandole

Posted on 08/02/2013

“Girandole” is a fabulous word which refers to a specific style of earring which we now commonly call a chandelier.  The term originates from Europe. A Girandole, from the French or the Italian Girandola, is an ornate candlestick with 3 or more branches, typically used in the later half of the 17th century.

In the 19th century elaborate gilded mirrors called Girandoles were also made in this popular style, with candelabra arms as part of the design. This English Chippendale example dates to c.1762-1765, it doubles as a girandole or sconce, with three arms to support candles.

A pair of stunning French Girandole Earrings, c.1760. Made with Opal and white paste stones set in Silver.

A lovely pair of Spanish Girandole Earring, c.1750-1850. This example is Silver with a gilt back set with pieces of mirrored glass. Traditional 19th century Spanish jewellery was inspired by these earlier 17th and 18th century styles.

Another lovely example of French Girandole Earrings, c.1750-1800, but made of rock crystal set in Silver.

This amazing Girandole Pendant can also be worn as a brooch, c.1760-80. It is set with white paste and imitation Opal stones created by setting Pink foil behind milky Blue glass stones.

This opulent style has remained popular, these fabulous Vintage Schoffel Earrings c.1950 are a perfect example.

These stunning period examples are all from the © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 

Photograph by Samantha Jones Photography