Small seed pearls, imported from China and India and strung on horsehair or silk to be fashioned into earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and hair ornaments, were widely popular in federal America. Their smooth texture and white color melded with the Neoclassical aesthetic that referenced ancient Greece and Rome. This pair of seed pearl earrings may have been among the "pearl pins and earrings for Mrs. Washington" purchased from New York jeweler Mr. M. Roberts on December 5, 1789. More


c. 1789



Pearl, mother of pearl, silver


Overall (B): 1 3/8 in. x 3/4 in. x 1/2 in. (3.51 cm x 1.91 cm x 1.27 cm)
Overall (C): 1 3/8 in. x 3/4 in. x 1/2 in. (3.51 cm x 1.91 cm x 1.27 cm)


Given in memory of Lucy Ware Lewis McCormick, 1946

Object Number



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