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Ref AB7  Hummingbird Earrings

A rare item of zoomorphic jewellery, circa 1890, a pair of ruby-topaz hummingbirds mounted as earrings. The Victorians embellished their dresses with beetle carcasses and colourful feathers, hats were covered with bird menageries and goldsmiths used smaller birds such as these to make into items of fashionable jewellery. These hummingbird earrings have gold beaks and glass eyes and are hanging from articulated gold tops. They are are in their original box from Wards, Naturalists, of Piccadilly. The Ward company made its name in the late 19th century in the field of taxidermy, specializing in African big game animals. Responding to popular demand, the company expanded into organizing safaris and retailing all types of goods with a naturalistic theme. It is most unusual to find an example of zoomorphic jewellery in an original Ward case. For similar ruby-topaz hummingbird earrings, see V & A Jewellery Gallery, Item Number M.11: 1&2-2003.

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A giraffe being installed in a London museum, taxidermy by the Ward company.

 

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