English Renaissance Earrings
Encountering Medieval Textiles and Dress: Objects, Texts, Images

Earrings: From Antiquity to the Present

Oon more hier of stature þan x feete, blac of body, with houndis teeth, bisshop of that Oracle or praieng place, to vs appiered, of whom the earis perced and ouches and bies erin hangyng, and clad was with skynnes.

Letter of Alexander to Aristotle
(Worcester F. 172, ll. 677-682)

While earrings were used to denote an exotic or Oriental character in the Middle Ages, they became fashionable for men and women in England during the 16th century.

It seems that the prevalent style of earring worn in Elizabethan England and early Jacobean England was a large pearl drop, though other styles do appear as well.