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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

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An instrument with a small scoop for removing wax from the ears.

Examples made of gold or silver were popular in Europe in the Renaissance period; some were enamelled or decorated with gems, and were worn suspended from a neck chain. Some are made with a toothpick on the end opposite the scoop, and some have an ear-pick and a toothpick joined by a swivel.

Examples of ear-picks are recorded in the inventories of James II of Scotland (1488), of Henry VIII (1530), and of Elizabeth I (1573-7). Some were enclosed in whistles designed by Albrecht Dürer and in a whistle said to have been owned by Anne Boleyn.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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