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from the archive
Mid 19th Century Flies & Flowers Carved Coral Earrings

By the 20th century, flies were universally understood to carry disease and be unwelcome inside homes. But in the 19th century, when these coral earrings were made, they had more sympathetic associations. They were often used as representations of human mortality and by extension, spiritual humility. More interestingly, flies were used to symbolize secrets or secret-keeping.


  • Materials

    18k gold (tests), coral

  • Age

    c. 1860

  • Condition


  • Size

    1 1/8" x 3/4"

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please note:Terms of Sale

Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Coral& the Grand Tour

Coral jewelry has been worn as an amulet of protection against ailments and danger since ancient Rome.