A Girandole (French, from the Italian girandola) is an ornamental branched candlestick composed of several lights. Girandoles came into use about the second half of the 17th century, and were made and used in pairs. A girandole has always been a luxurious lighting device, and in the 18th century, the period of great French decoration, the famous carvers designed some beautiful examples from gold, gilded silver or bronze or wood.
In jewelry, a girandole is a design, mostly earrings, in which three dangling pear-shaped ornaments are suspended from a central motif, often a bow. Girandole earrings were very popular in the 17th and 18th century, but even now still are.
Princess Isabella of Parma (daughter of Philip of Spain, Duke of Parma) wears the most magnificent 18th century diamond girandole earrings on this painting, which was done soon after her marriage to Joseph II in 1760, by Anton Raphael Mengs.
Revivals exist of all times, like this english 1790 harlequin girandole gold brooch set with foiled gems; two amethysts, three chrysolites, a topaz and a garnet or these two colored coral and gold Van Cleef & Arpels girandole ear clips from the 1970s.
This lovely pair of silver and paste is brand new.
This is more stylized example; a pair of diamond and platinum girandole earrings set with brilliant and baguette cut diamonds from the 1950s.
A pair of 19th century garnet and gold girandole earrings form the South of France.
A pair of girandole earrings with five oval shaped coque de perle, a pearl-like stone that is cut from the Indian nautilus shell and is similar to a blister pearl.
Timothy Horn makes the ultimate girandoles, even though you cannot wear them in your ears….. They refer back to their original decorative functions.
Horn’s exhibition in the Young Museum in San Francisco showed Sweet Thing (2008), a bronze and nickel tree-like girandole sculpture with large pearls made of mirrored blown glass elements. Except for the fact that it measures 50 x 36 inches, Sweet Thing closely resembles a blown up 18th century girandole drop earring. As you can see, Horn is interested in the intersection between beauty and grotesque, perfection versus vulgarity and his work always has a strong connection to the decorative arts. Grand!
Titania II (2011)
Petit Chou (2009)
These huge cast lead crystal, bronze, nickel plate Girandoles l and ll (Rain of Hot Stones) (1998) are so lovely even though Horn tried to change materials and reduce associated preciousness; Horn plays with the beautiful.