Intricately Carved Pristine Whitby Jet Beads
Whitby jet is a black fossilized wood (other theories believe it to be a form of coal or sap similar to amber) found on the Yorkshire coast of England. Matte black in color, when polished the surface takes on a lustrous sheen. Its beautiful soft texture enables jet to be intricately carved. When her beloved Albert died, Queen Victoria bought and wore masses of jet. As a result the jet trade received much publicity and entered a boom period moving far beyond simple mourning.
The hand of a master craftsman is apparent in this Victorian era necklace of twenty-seven (27) elaborately carved beads of sensuous Whitby jet. Graduated in size and strung by hand on hand-fabricated rolled gold wire (a most becoming and attractive alternative to string), this very fine jet bead necklace is in an amazingly well looked after condition. The detail on the beads has remained crisp unlike many which have become softened over time. The ends conclude with an “S” hook type clasp.
Measurements: 17-3/8 inches (44.4 cm) in length. The largest bead is 11/16 of an inch (1.7 cm) and the smallest approximately 5/16 of an inch (0.7 cm). This antique necklace has a weight of 26.8 grams (17.2 dwt).
Condition: Excellent; minor wear at the holes on a few beads.
Date & Origin: Circa 1870 - 1880 and is English in origin.
Overall Scale: Medium