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Mid-Century Wingback Earrings – Judith McCann Invention

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

Rhinestone wingbacks are available in my eBay store.

Visit My eBay Store: MidCentury Jewelry
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Michelle Obama Wears Costume Jewelry To Inauguration

Michelle Obama wore a costume jewelry piece to the 2009 Inauguration. The colorless rhinestone piece appears to be attached to the sparkling Isabel Toldeo designed dress.

Note that the length and width of the piece is a perfect addition to the neckline of the dress.

This look proves that it’s OK to wear big rhinestones during the day, as long as they complement the oufit and don’t overwhelm it!!!