This earring set reproduces two heart-shaped beads excavated from James Fort, which were recovered nearly three years apart.
The first bead was recovered in 2006 and consists of a green glass heart bead on a copper pin between two bone beads and metal spacers. Archaeologists and curators believed this formed part of an earring, which may have been worn by one of the first women to arrive at Jamestown in August of 1609. A match was found in 2009 in the fort’s first well.
While the heart symbol had already appeared in different cultural contexts around the world for over 25,000 years, in 1607 it was still a relatively young concept in English iconography. The connection between this now-familiar shape and love did not begin until the 14th century, and became more popular with the English around the 15th century with its first appearance on the standard deck of playing cards around this time.
Material: Sterling silver, glass