These earrings are modeled on a pair in the Preservation Virginia collection that descended in the Rolfe family with a tradition of ownership by Pocahontas. The originals are larger and are made of mussel shell, silver, and steel.
Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, was instrumental to the survival of the Jamestown colony in its first years. She married English tobacco planter John Rolfe in 1614. The Rolfes traveled to England in 1616 with their son Thomas, to promote the Jamestown settlement. Pocahontas grew ill and died before she could return to Virginia.