Born in 1122, Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine was wealthy, intelligent, and ambitious. She reigned as Queen of France from 1137-1151 while married to King Louis VII and as Queen of England from 1154-1189 during her marriage to King Henry II who imprisoned her from 1173-1189. During that time, Henry had a passionate affair with Rosamund Clifford. Henry released Eleanor after Rosamund’s death, although Eleanor remained under supervision and had a custodian until Henry’s death. Eleanor died in 1204 and is entombed next to Henry and her son, King Richard the Lionheart in Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou. Her tomb effigy shows her wearing opulent jewelry and reading a bible.
My butterfly-themed earrings shown above symbolize Eleanor’s longing for freedom during her imprisonment. Die-cut, hammer-textured, soldered, and patinaed, the earrings are made of sterling silver, bronze, and brass. Embellished with Amethyst and Crazy Lace Agate bezel-set cabochons, they are accented with bronze-colored, faceted pearls.