The word “Baroque” evokes a certain extravagance, elegance, and Old World charm; but do we know what it really means? The definition of “Baroque” is as follows:
“of or pertaining to a style of architecture and art originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament… extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style… irregular in shape.”
As you can see, Baroque has some serious history to it. Any trend that persisted for 150 years sure has some legs to it but the fact is that Baroque has never gone out of style; rather it may have attained lesser amounts of attention in between periods of domination.
Pearls are considered among the most coveted and stylish of gemstones. The only gemstone to emanate from a living organism, pearls are truly an incomparable wonder of nature. And in a world where “bigger is better,” they don’t come much bigger…or better, than Baroque pearls. But what exactly what are Baroque pearls?
Baroque Pearls – Incomparable Size, Incomparable Style
The term “Baroque pearls,” is most commonly used to refer to large pearls of non-uniform shape. Whereas with other types of pearls, a prized piece of jewelry relies on the uniformity of the pearl’s size and shape, with Baroque pearls, the beauty lies in their differences in size and shape – it is their individuality and how it is combined with other pearls that sets them apart. A Baroque pearl necklace will attract the eye due to its size and inconsistency as will any piece of Baroque jewelry.
Baroque pearls may be from freshwater or saltwater sources but are predominantly from saltwater sources. Baroque Tahitian pearls and Baroque South Sea pearls are two examples of saltwater Baroque pearls. There are also semi-Baroque pearls. These are pearls of irregular shape but not as irregular as Baroque pearls. This is a subjective designation.
Finding sufficient non-Baroque pearls for a pearl necklace will take a longer time than finding pearls for a Baroque pearl necklace as the “regular” pearls should be perfectly round, something that is very difficult to achieve. However, a Baroque pearl necklace will possibly have a greater impact due to its size and irregularity. Similarly, Baroque pearl earrings are not for the shrinking violet as they will really highlight the face and let people know that you have “arrived.”
Baroque design had 150 years of dominance and has seemingly entered its second coming.