16 February 2010

Flawed Pearl: Pérola Barroca

The Baroque period was named for a misshapen, flawed pearl. Portuguese navigators found the pearls in 1510 in the East Indian town of Broakti that they called Baroquia. The imperfect pearls became known as Pérola barroca. Jewelers were inspired by the unusual pearls to create fantastic pendants. The Canning Jewell which is probably Italian in origin, features a merman with a large pearl designating his torso. It is embellished with solid gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls and enamel work. Other depictions of pearls were more direct as in the exotic Girl with the Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer (1632 -1675). His Dutch Baroque Masterpiece shows pearls as a status symbol of the seventeen century. Josefa de Óbidos (1630–1684) the Portuguese painter did not require jewelry for her saints figure. Her Baroque works were devoted to religious themes with their own imperfections.


  1. So, were you in my lecture hall last night? I introduced Louis VIV, Regence and Louis XV. We talked about the Baroque and I wished I had not forgotten that image of a mis-shapen pearl.

  2. Hi Blue~

    I wish I had been in your class I'm becoming something of a Francophile! I always love the image of beauty as imperfection.

    Kind regards, Kendra

  3. Oh Kendra
    I simply adore pearls..who wouldn't? I even had a pearl in my engagement ring but it fell apart just like my marriage...oh well...I still love pearls!

  4. Hi Sally, I still wear my art deco wedding set on my pinky finger because I love it even though the marriage did not last. Kendra

  5. Now, that's an good story. I am glad to find your site, quite new here and looking forward to reading along, this is truly fascinating.

  6. Thank you, Catherine. I will be adding your excellent blog to my list. I can smell the waffles and syrup! Kind regards, Kendra


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