Beginning in the 16th century, expanding global trade routes made pearls an available luxury for many. The elite lavishly adorned themselves with pearls as symbols of status, taste, and wealth; irregular baroque pearls were particularly coveted. Our elegant earrings honor the lustrous pearl jewelry depicted in European paintings throughout The Met collection, such as Portrait of a Woman (ca. 1670s) by Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Il Baciccio) (Italian, 1639-1709), Portrait of a Young Woman with a Fan (1633) by Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), and Massimo Stanzione’s (Italian, 1585-1656) Judith with the Head of Holofernes (ca. 1640).