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Matching Pair of Whitby Jet Snake Bracelets


Jet is a semi-precious stone that has been used for thousands of years as a personal adornment thought to bring forth good fortune. The Romans mined it extensively during their conquest of Britain. The finest quality is from the coast around Whitby in the UK (hence the name). The stone can take on a very high polish and is a very deep opaque black while maintaining a beautiful soft texture. It reached its zenith around the mid 1900s when Queen Victoria incorporated jet into her repertoire of “mourning jewelry” and its popularity continued until the end of that century.

Here we offer a pair of Whitby jet bracelets. Strung on expandable metal coils, it is unusual to encounter a matched pair of these antique bracelets. Comprised of hand-cut and hand faceted glorious Whitby jet, each bead displays a unique size and shape. Coiled, the carved snake head emerges as its body is defined by graduated segments only to conclude with pointed tail. Intricacy of detail is apparent with the carefully carved mouth and chiseled out round eyes.

Measures approximately 1-3/8 inches at the widest (3.5 cm) and will fit a wrist from 6 to 8 inches (15.2 to 20.3 cm) in circumference. In good condition; one bracelet has forty segments and the other thirty-nine (which may have been the original design). A repair to a snake head hidden by faceting and color and only visible upon very close inspection. Dates to circa 1870 and is English in origin. Wear them together or one on each wrist.

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