ERIE BASIN ANTIQUES
Open by Appointment
1860-70s Lava Acorn & Oak Leaf Earrings, Gold, $1350
I can’t ever think of seeing lava acorns before. Carved lava was particularly popular around 1870, when archaeological revivals inspired Italian lava to be carved into Roman ladies and amphorae. But the acorn and oak leaf is a very mid 19th century motif, when it was often used in morning jewelry as a symbol of immortality. So it’s more often seen in black materials like vulcanite or jet, or of plaited hair. In smooth, cool grey lava they take on a much less mournful feeling though, which makes me think of oak’s other symbolism: strength and stability.