One thing the ancient Egyptians really did right was the jewelry – colorful, big, beautiful. Although I don’t have the elegant swan neck of Nefertiti, which my mother always declared was essential for wearing anything other than button earrings, I decided early on that earrings were going to be my signature style element. Hey, at 5’ 2 ¼” the swan neck was not happening so I figured I might as well enjoy myself. (Mother was not always right either, not about men or about jewelry!)
The longer and more fabulous the earrings, the better! I still have the first pair I ever bought, at Penneys in the 1960’s – enameled blue tulips. By the 1980’s I had discovered a brand by the odd name of Banana Bob and fell in love with them. (BBob as it’s known among We The Earring Obssessed.) I would allow myself one new pair a payday back then and spend at least an hour deciding between the available pieces. The company is sadly long out of business, although you can find the earrings on eBay (and I do search them out, believe me!). The earrings are usually thematic, with color and charms, anywhere from 2-4”. I never got my ears pierced (that pesky maternal influence again) but I learned how to adapt pierced earrings to clip style and was good to go.
Complete strangers will stop me to compliment my earrings. One supervisor at work told me his entire department had a bet going on how long it would be before they saw me wear the same pair of earrings twice. A friend teased me at her baby shower that she’d expected me to give her unborn child earrings, not onesies. Irony of ironies? Neither of my daughters is into long earrings! No granddaughters as yet either.
I’ve never found another company that can satisfy my craving for chandelier fashion jewelry earrings the way BBob did, although Lunchattheritz comes close with some of theirs. I guess I like the idea of wearing something unique. I know I love the tiny charms and detailed elements of the BBob earrings.
But nothing modern day can match the grandeur of my favorite pair of winged earrings from King Tut’s tomb – gold, blue glass, faience, beads,cloisonné, incredible attention to detail (the king’s portrait is painted on the fastenings) – I would give anything to wear them for even a minute. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I’d get my ears pierced for that. They’re over four inches long and more than 3000 years old…maybe I can’t ever wear them, but I guarantee one of my Tales of the Nile heroines will have them in her jewelry box!
(My oldest daughter took all these earring pictures for me–except the King Tut ones–and when I opened my email I found another picture had been sent along with them…do you think somebody was feeling ignored?)