Sunday, August 1, 2010

“But words are words;

I never yet did hear
That the bruised heart was pierced through the ear.”
William Shakespeare

But, pierced ears are ancient in style...carved images of the soldiers from various parts of the Persian Empire displayed on some of the surviving walls of the palace in Persepolis show the soldiers wearing an ear ring. I am sure if you were excavating in Iraq(sans bombs), you might unearth some earrings.

Even The Bible has many references to earrings and other adornments.
"I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, EARRINGS IN YOUR EARS, and a beautiful crown on your head." (Ezekiel 16:10-12)

In ancient times earrings could represent aristocracy or slavery as well as a clue to the wearer's religious, political or tribal identity. Crafted of metals that could be bent, flattened and twisted into unique designs and hoops, earrings became more elaborate in the second century A.D. when assorted gems were introduced. Here is a picture of earrings from the 1st century A.D.

During the Middle Ages, wearers lost sight of earrings...literally and figuratively!Necklaces were more in vogue.
By the 17th century, hair was being pulled back, and earrings were revived.
Pierced ears were popular in the United States, but the practice was abandoned as some considered it uncivilized.

Sailors kept a pierced earlobe which meant that the wearer had sailed around the world or had crossed the equator.In addition, if a non-service member sailor was involved in and survived a sinking ship, they were often seen wearing an earring in the left ear. There was also a long-held belief that puncturing the earlobe was beneficial to increasing the acuity of eyesight or of hearing. (Maybe women should suggest ear piercing to their husbands--might help with refrigerator blindness and honey-do lists.) Also, it was a common belief among sailors that if the ships wrecked and their bodies washed up on a shoreline, the person who found them would take the earring as payment for proper burials.

We now come to the stash of earrings I have in the shop...clip-ons and screw backs...these enabled women to have earrings without piecing and thus keep them from being labeled barbaric. Screw backs, patented in 1894, came before clip backs which were patented in 1934. Although most screw backs were for non-pierced ears, a threaded screw back for pierced ears was also available. For over 50 years these were the mainstay in the jewelry box until the 1970s, and women were "liberated" and pierced ears became symbolic of that liberation(and you thought it was bra burning, didn't you?).

So, if you do not like pierced ears, we have a large selection of earrings for you.
The clip-ons make cute accents on lapels or collars even, and sometimes you can rework the screw-on earring to a pierced style. And, you must remember this quote from Audrey Hepburn...“You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he gives you.”

And I have to add~if it comes in this box...


Barb in FL said...

Oh, Sue, my fingers are just itching to wander through the "jewels" you have for sale! :-)

Marge of Emmas Nook and Granny said...

Nice earring stash! My friends and I pierced our ears in the mid 60s. I always thought the latest fashions hit the midwest a little behind the coasts. Maybe we aren't so slow after all!

laura said...

I really enjoyed this week's blog. Loved the quote from Audrey Hepburn!