What are wingback earrings? Wingbacks were a 1940s invention of jewelry designer Judith McCann, for women who didn’t want to wear the clip earrings of the time. Wingbacks have an unusual 2-part wire setting in back. There is a t-bar shaped piece that fits inside the ear, resting on the top of the lobe. The upward-facing single wire fits securely behind the lobe and holding the earring in place.
Every pair of wingbacks that I’ve sen are stamped “WINGBACK” on the side of the long wire in back. There is always the patent number for this invention stamped after the Wingback name.
Most wingback earrings are substantial in size. I’ve seen them in rhinestones, enamel and beaded.
Photo of Wingback ad courtesy of www.antiquingonline.com.
Rhinestone wingbacks are available in my eBay store.
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3 thoughts on “Mid-Century Wingback Earrings – Judith McCann Invention”
I have seen a few of these and always wondered about the history behind them. Is there any way to date them more specifically? How long were they made?
Audrey, I have several pairs of Wingback, austrian crystal, if you should like a few pictures for this article I would be glad to provide them.
Judith McCann invented them, but many other jewelry makers used her invention. I’ve seen some as late as the 60’s.
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