Jet is one of just a few organic gemstones in the world naturally formed from fossilized wood. Most Victorian jet pieces were made from the material found in Whitby, a town in England. During the mid 1800’s the popularity of Whitby Jet really began to grow. In 1851, the stunning gemstone was displayed at the Great Exhibition in London where it became coveted by a number of high-profile royals including the Queen of Bavaria and the Empress of France. Then in 1861, when Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert passed away, the monarch took to wearing the stone as jewelry in remembrance of him. She even disallowed any other jewelry to be worn in court during this time. With Queen Victoria as a prolific patron and the seaside town of Whitby gaining popularity as a holiday destination, Whitby Jet became one of the most fashionable and highly desired gemstones in the Victorian era.
Made from deep black, shining Whitby jet, our Victorian mourning cameo pendant has the stark effigy of a woman in profile on the front. Her long, Grecian nose and generously curved chin offset her elaborate hairdo, the locks intertwined with blossoms. She presents a handsome figure, full of strength and beauty, a lovely tribute to a long ago departed lady. On the reverse is a locket, displaying artistically worked hair made into floral motifs under glass. A fine piece of craftspersonship, it is a classic and stylish mourning piece, sure to be treasured for generations to come.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 4cm (2 5/6" x 1 1/2")
Weight: 1.15 oz
Materials: Whitby jet, hairwork, glass
Condition: Excellent antique condition