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Victorian Carved Jet Bead Necklace

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A good string of carved jet beads that were made circa 1880. Each bead has been hand carved in an intricate leaf design. In the Victorian era the finest quality jet was sourced in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast. Whitby Jet is actually fossilised wood that has been compressed over millions of years and is found in seams of shale between Robin Hood’s Bay and Boulby.
In 1851, Whitby Jet was exhibited at the Great Exhibition, London and soon became coveted by a number of high profile Royals including the Queen of Bavaria and the Empress of France. But Whitby Jet’s most prolific patron was Queen Victoria. When her beloved Albert died in 1861, Victoria took to wearing Jet jewellery in remembrance of him, and it soon became the etiquette to accessorise the period’s mourning fashion with jewellery made from jet. So much so, that the only jewellery allowed to be worn in court during the period was Whitby Jet.
This necklace with it’s original pinchbeck clasp would have been worn at the time.

Written by Olly Gerrish


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Date & Origin


Very Good






Length 50cm
Diameter of largest bead 2.5cm

Item Number


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