Victorian Carved Jet Beads Necklace
In the Jewellery made in the the Victorian era (1839-1901). era in Whitby on the Yorkshire coast was where the finest quality jet was sourced. Whitby Jet is actually fossilised wood which has been compressed over millions of years.
Most frequently found in seams of shale between Robin Hood’s Bay and Boulby. In addition to the distinctive shale or ‘Jet line’ which appears above sea level, the seams extend under the sea and pieces often break away in bad weather to be washed up on to the shore.
In 1851, Whitby Jet was exhibited at the Great Exhibition, London and soon became coveted by a number of high profile royal persons 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 is a carved jet bead necklace. Each bead has been hand carved in an intricate design. It must have taken hours to complete and looks amazing.
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