Victorian Carved Jet Bead Necklace
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 Jewellery made in the the Victorian era (1839-1901). 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 Rings made especially to mark the death of a loved one. Often called 'memento mori' rings. Rare examples survive intact and are highly collectable. 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 An early 18th century alloy of copper and zinc (9 parts zinc and 48 parts copper) invented by Christopher Pinchbeck. Another formula consisted of 83 parts copper and 17 parts zinc. It looks like gold, wears well and maintains its colour. clasp would have been worn at the time.
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