According to the Google dictionary, Baroque is defined as the following: “relating to or denoting a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed Mannerism and is characterized by ornate detail.” Common synonyms for the word include ‘ornate’, ‘fancy’ and ‘elaborate’. Paintings from the baroque era were typically known to include gold, and be framed in large, elaborate frames. The fashion was over the top: frills and large skirts, big hairpieces or hats and layers of jewelry.
But when it comes to pearls, another layer of meaning is added to the term. Baroque pearls are pearls that are asymmetrical, irregular and non-spherical in shape, and they are usually very large – which is not so surprising if you consider the definition above.
Their valued characteristics stand in contradiction to how other pearls are priced: usually, the more perfect and symmetrical a pearl is, the higher its value. But with Baroque pearls, it’s their inconsistency and unique shape that determines the value. Isn’t that a lovely metaphor for how we value human beings – or perhaps, how we sometimes mistakenly measure people? All of us know that someone who rises to society’s expectations will probably fit in easily and be well-liked – like the perfect pearl we value so much. But it’s the people who don’t fit in the boxes we’ve created for them, who dare to show their unique qualities and the way they are different from others, that usually make an impression.
And when it comes to Baroque pearls, this wisdom definitely holds. According to Vogue, their irregular shapes make them highly appealing to fashion and jewelry designers because they are ideal for creating exclusive, original pieces that can never be copied or reproduced in exactly the same way. In an age where the market is flooded by mass-produced fashion, this quality is prized even more than in the 17th century, when it was the expected thing that each piece of jewelry should be unique.
And the fashion industry is waking up to this fact in a big way. Baroque pearls started reappearing on catwalks in 2018, when fashion designers like Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Prabal Gurung, and Dolce & Gabbana included pearls as part of elaborate earrings, embellishments on clothes and accessories and even as part of tiaras. Vogue summed it up as follows: “Pearls are back in fashion, preferably irregularly shaped, set in extravagant pieces, scattered on clothes and accessories.”
And if you think about it, it was just a matter of time before people rediscovered this particular timeless pearl shape. Just think of the trend of wearing mismatched earrings, and the asymmetrical hairstyles that have become so popular. What better than to pair it with some pearls that celebrate this asymmetrical beauty?
Here are a few of our favorite Baroque pearl pieces at Timeless Pearl:
Like what you see? Filter the results in our shop according to Pearl Shape > Baroque to see more.