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Victorian Jet & Vulcanite Bracelets



Morning Glory
Collects…

things we love to buy, wear and
share

Victorian Jet, Vulcanite, Bog Oak, Pressed Horn & French Jet
Bracelets


During part of the Victorian period from about 1860 to
1890, black jewelry was the height of fashion and black was a stylish color,
not just an ornament of mourning. Made of jet, vulcanite, bog oak or pressed
horn, many carried a special
meaning as a memento of a loved one. A brooch in the shape of a hand
carrying a bouquet conveyed a message symbolized by the flowers. Photos
might be housed inside lockets and watch fobs, and portraits hand painted on
pendants and earrings. While some black jewelry was meant to be worn
during mourning, black jewelry was fashionable as well, and worn for its
beauty and sentiment.


VICTORIAN Whitby jet and sea
shell cameo bracelet with alternating faceted and domed segments
strung on elastic circa 1870, 6" by 1-5/8". This bracelet was seen in
"Antiques & Collecting Magazine" page 52, October 2008 in an article about
Victorian jet jewellery called Black Magic by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D.
View
View
View #V31960

VICTORIAN shell
cameos set in jet bracelet circa 1870. Four of the cameos are matching lovely
ladies, and the center cameo is a pair of cherubs. A similar bracelet
can be seen in Bell’s

Old Jewelry

on page 55.
View
View
View
View
View
View
View
View #V28825

VICTORIAN shell cameo
set carved jet brooch, circa 1870, 1-5/8".
View #V28766

Sea shell cameos set into jet combine two favorite
Victorian jewelry materials, as these bracelets and brooch illustrate.




VICTORIAN
painted porcelain miniature set in jet boy portrait brooch, circa 1870, 2-1/8". For a
similar piece see page 32 in Helen Muller’s "Jet Jewellery and Ornaments"
View #V25351

VICTORIAN 2"
"gypsy boy" hand detailed portrait on jet segmented bracelet circa
1870, 1" wide and
strung on elastic, fits a 6 to 6-1/2" wrist. This bracelet was seen in
"Antiques & Collecting Magazine" page 52, October 2008 in an article about
Victorian jet jewellery called Black Magic by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D.
View #V28835

VICTORIAN vulcanite boy
portrait miniature pendant, circa 1870, 1-1/2". See page 32 in Helen Muller’s "Jet Jewellery and Ornaments".
View #V27673


The gypsy or vagabond boy was a very popular Victorian motif, and the group
illustrates the variety of pieces and styles in which it can be seen.



VICTORIAN Whitby
jet Leda and the swan cameo bracelet, a Classical myth in which Zeus seduces
Leda, wife of the King of Sparta, by disguising himself as a swan, circa
1870, 6-5/8"
around when relaxed, 1-5/8" wide at front and 5/" wide at the back. There
is one stable crack in the cameo and nicks at the edge where it was set.
View
View #V35100

VICTORIAN Whitby jet gypsy
boy faceted expansion bracelet, the boy painted on a porcelain oval has
light scratches on the face, relaxed size 6-5/8", front oval 1-1/3", band
3/4". Green boy pieces like this were popular circa 1860.

This very special piece is from the personal jet collection of Katy and Helen
Muller, authors of the books on jet jewellery. I am so very privileged to
have it and other pieces from their private collections. It is guaranteed
to be genuine and all original
Victorian Whitby jet. Their books "Jet Jewellery &
Ornaments" and "Whitby Jet" are the best books written on the
subject.
View
View #V36501

VICTORIAN Whitby jet shell cameo bracelet with male god bust and faceted
links, 6-3/4" relaxed size and 1-1/4" wide at front, 1" at back, very tiny
flea bites at some edges. Flea bites are typical of jet of this age and
these are barely noticeable, just mentioned for accuracy.

This very special piece is from the personal jet collection of Katy and Helen
Muller, authors of the books on jet jewellery. I am so very privileged to
have it and other pieces from their private collections. It is guaranteed
to be genuine and all original
Victorian Whitby jet. Their books "Jet Jewellery &
Ornaments" and "Whitby Jet" are the best books written on the
subject.
View #V36455




Antiques Diary Magazine May 2009 showing the bracelet at the right on this
page.

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
bracelet with green Tyrolean boy and faceted links, 6-1/8" relaxed size and
stretches to 6-1/3" with a 1-1/2" wide front and 1-1/8" back. Green boy
pieces like this were popular circa 1860. This exact piece was featured in
the May-June Issue of Antiques Diary, Britain, and a copy of this article
will be included with the bracelet.

This very special piece is from the personal jet collection of Katy and Helen
Muller, authors of the books on jet jewellery. I am so very privileged to
have it and other pieces from their private collections. It is guaranteed
to be genuine and all original
Victorian Whitby jet. Their books "Jet Jewellery &
Ornaments" and "Whitby Jet" are the best books written on the
subject.
View
View #V36454


VICTORIAN
jet buckle expansion bangle circa 1870, 6-5/8" relaxed size,
2" front width, 1-1/4".

View


View
#V36899





VICTORIAN
bois durci buckle bracelet with applied and etched silver
buckle on the front. The buckle front is 2" by 1-1/4", the wearable size is
slightly larger than normal at 7-1/3", and the width at the band is 7/8". It
is strung on black elastic as it should be. Circa 1860s, these are harder to
find that vulcanite. Bois Durci (hardened wood) was invented by FC Lepage in
1855, UK Patent No. 2232. It is a combination of albumen and sawdust,
created under pressure and with a molded design. This piece can be
seen in the wonderful book "Georgian Jewellery" on page 128-9. You can
recognize bois durci, which translates as "hardened wood", by the lightly bubbly
finish on the back side.

View
#V38616


VICTORIAN
jet and pietra dura expansion bracelet, rare and fabulous,
circa 1870. The center has a pink rose, turquoise forget-me-nots and green
leaves on a black background. The bracelet is 7" around the inside when
relaxed, the front center is 2" by 1-3/4" and the back is 1-1/4" wide. This
is in excellent condition and a real collector’s dream, circa 1870.

View


View
#V38360


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet and cameo bracelet with links strung on elastic,
includes extra pieces in case you need a larger size. The cameo front is 2"
by 1-5/8" and bracelet width about 1-1/2", with some very minor chips in the
back segments.

View


View


View


View
#V38725



VICTORIAN Whitby jet
roses expansion bracelet, a larger size at 8" around the inside, 1-1/2" wide
at front and 7/8" wide at the back. Upon close examination it has nicks at
the edges commensurate with age and wear, hard to see when worn.
View
View #V35101

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
rare charm bracelet with 6 charms plus padlock closure and chunky chain, 8
wearable length, padlock 1-3/4" total length, carved oval with painted rose
center and Maltese cross carved back 1-1/4" and 5/8" thick, carved acorn
3/4", flower etched oval with plain back 1", book with etched Whitby Abbey
1" by 3/4", fabulously carved knot charm 1" and cross 1". An
amazing bracelet!

This very special piece is from the personal jet collection of Katy and Helen
Muller, authors of the books on jet jewellery. I am so very privileged to
have it and other pieces from their private collections. It is guaranteed
to be genuine and all original
Victorian Whitby jet. Their books "Jet Jewellery &
Ornaments" and "Whitby Jet" are the best books written on the
subject.
View
View #V36452

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet hand carved expansion bracelet, 7" by 1-1/2" front and 7/8" sides. The
front panel is carved with a sunburst surrounded by scalloped and faceted
balls, and the side links are cross-hatched.
View
View #V32391






VICTORIAN
Whitby jet
snake bracelet with beautifully carved head, about 18" long and 1-3" to 1-8"
wide. See page 83 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet". Similar piece seen in
Helen Mueller’s "Jet" on page 83; in Christie Romero’s "Warman’s Jewelry, 2nd Ed" page 32
and 3rd edition page 51; and in Becker’s "Antique & Twentieth Century
Jewelry" on page 54. #V29886
VICTORIAN lady wearing her long
chain, cameo
and matching jet bracelets, 3-5/8" by 3-1/8".
View
View
View #V29919

VICTORIAN Whitby jet snake bracelet,
hand carved head and tail and faceted body, shown in Helen Muller’s "Jet" page 83,
extended bracelet is 14" long and the snake head is 1-1/4" long and
1/2" wide. View #V31828


JET SNAKE bracelets
were always strung on black elastic. They can
be found strung on wire or a thick elasticized thread. Good jet snakes should have
lovely carving with cross-hatched heads and should be tight enough not
to fall off your arm, meaning no segments are missing and it is properly
strung. Most snake bracelets that are originally wire strung are black
glass, not jet, and reproductions are now being made.




VICTORIAN black glass snake coil bracelet with wire-strung
faceted segments, 18" long and about 1/3" wide. #V32600


VICTORIAN Whitby jet
snake bracelets, matched set, 14" by approximately 1/3" each. Although
the Victorians often wore bracelets in matched sets it is VERY rare to
find one in jet snakes like this.
View
View #V32619

VICTORIAN very unusual
textured, black enameled metal segments strung on flat coiled wire snake bracelet
with wooden carved head and tail, symbol of infinite love, 9" by 1/2".
View #V28836




VICTORIAN
Whitby
jet snake wrap-around bracelet, 15" long and 5/16" wide. See page 83 of
Helen Muller’s book "Jet". Similar piece seen in Helen Mueller’s "Jet"
on page 83; in Christie Romero’s "Warman’s Jewelry, 2nd Ed" page 32
and 3rd edition page 51; and in Becker’s "Antique & Twentieth Century
Jewelry" on page 54.
View #V26676

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
hand carved segmented snake bracelet. Circa 1870, this bracelet has
each segment is faceted by hand, an amazing amount of work especially
considering the rough tools that were used to fashion jet over 130 years
ago. #VHM5

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
snake bracelet, 16" total, 1/3" wide each segment. Similar piece
seen in Helen Mueller’s "Jet" on page 83 and in Christie Romero’s "Warman’s Jewelry, 2nd Ed" page 32
and 3rd edition page 51.
#V28553






VICTORIAN
jet table and chair with etched design of the Whitby Abbey,
table 1-1/3" by 1-1/4", chair 2-1/4" by 1", this can be seen in Helen
Muller’s book "Jet" page 92. These would have been taken home
as souvenirs of a visit to Whitby. #V36460



VICTORIAN
Whitby jet hand carved snake coil bracelet, 11-1/3" long and
about 5/8" wide, strung on black elastic in the correct original way. The
snake symbolized eternal love in the Victorian era. This exact bracelet can
be seen on page 34 of the book "Jet Jewellery" by Katy & Helen Muller. What
a piece to add to your collection!

Circa 1870, this bracelet has each segment is
faceted by hand, an amazing amount of work especially considering the rough
tools that were used to fashion jet over 130 years ago.
View
View #V36051


VICTORIAN
jet expansion bracelet with lightly hand etched wild rose
flowers and leaves design, circa 1880, 6-5/8" relaxed size with a 1-1/3"
wide front and a 3/4" back.

View
#V38231




VICTORIAN Whitby jet strung on elastic bracelets, matching
pair, tiny dings, 7" adjustable by 1-1/4". View
View
#V28790

VICTORIAN Whitby jet chunky cube bracelet with 1-1/4" squares strung on black
elastic. Each square is faceted and the edges etched with a Greek key
design, and on top center is a faceted half-bead with and faceted smaller
squares on the other links.
View #V29813

VICTORIAN bois durci
bracelet with carved ivory deer in the woods inset. One deer has a leg
missing, but it is not noticeable except under a loupe. Bois Durci was
invented in France in mid 19th century, and this is marked on the back "D&C
Patent", 6-3/4" by 2-1/3" at front and 3/4" at back.
View
View
View
View #V32417




VICTORIAN Whitby jet cameo
bracelet, 6" with 1-1/2" front and 1" back.
View #V32578
VICTORIAN vulcanite
cameo bangle, cameo 1-1/2" by 2".
View #V28068

VICTORIAN vulcanite bangle,
very rare and unusual cameo 2-1/4" front with beaded edge 1" back, hinged
side. View
View
View #V29155




VICTORIAN Whitby jet bracelet,
one link chipped, 7-1/4" by 1-5/8".
View #V29884

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand carved
cameo bracelet strung on two strands of hat elastic. The back segments are polished convex rounds,
and the front segment is a beautifully carved lady with head dress profile.
Relaxed size is 6-3/4" with front cameo panel 1-1/3" wide and back panels
graduated from 1" down to 3/4".
View
View #V31810

VICTORIAN vulcanite floral bangle with
flowers, adjustable with 2-1/4" front.
View #V28208




VICTORIAN jet
bracelet with pierced and carved front, a lovely design with rectangular
sides, elastic strung and 7" by 1-1/2" relaxed.
View
View #V32699
BLACK French jet beads brooch
on a white lace collar.
VICTORIAN vulcanite
horseshoe bracelet, double hinged at the sides and adjustable to sizes
6-3/8", 6-3/4" and 7-1/8", 1-1/4" wide at front.
View
View #V31335




VICTORIAN vulcanite
bracelet with roses in the center surrounded by branches and leaves, front
1-3/4" by 1-1/2", adjustable with 1" band.
View #V33358

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet expansion bracelet with star motif, 7" with 1-5/8" at front and 1/2"
band. View
View #V32447

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
cameo bracelet, a segmented band strung on elastic as they were in that era
circa 1870, relaxed size 7-1/2", front cameo 1-1/3" and back segment 7/8".
All the parts are original as as it was first made over 140 years ago.
View
View #V65830

JET is the black
fossilized wood of a particular tree that grew millions of years ago. It is
particularly associated with the English town of Whitby where much of it was
mined and fashioned into
jewelry and accessories. While jet was made into jewelry throughout the
1800’s, it was especially fashionable between 1860 and 1890. Like amber,
coral, pearls and ivory, jet is an organic gem.

VULCANITE (also sometimes called "ebonite") was made by combining and
heating sap of the Euphorbia or Ficus trees from Malaysia with sulphur.
Invented in 1843 by Thomas Hancock, pieces made of vulcanite were almost always molded, not carved,
and it was used mainly in making jewelry.

HORN is the natural horn of an animal, pressed into a mold to form jewelry.

BOG OAK is fossilized wood or peat found in Ireland. It is a
brownish-black, and has a woody texture.

FRENCH JET and CREPE STONE are black glass, and not truly jet at all. Like
all glass, they will be colder to the touch and heavier than jet or
vulcanite. They are usually smaller sized pieces backed with black metal in
the same size.

BOIS DURCI was invented by Francois Charles Lepag in 1856. It is a
composition of fine hardwood sawdust and blood which is pressed then highly
polished.

GUTTA PERCHA is the sap of the Dichopsis tree also found in Malaysia. Invented
by William Montgomerie in 1843, it was
used mainly in technical articles, e.g. driving belts, stoppers, tubs,
pails, cups, washing drums and cables. It was also used for household
purposes such as mouthpieces for whistles, sticks and riding whips. It was
very rarely used for jewelry.

Pieces like these, circa 1860-1890, can be seen in Helen Muller’s
book Jet and in Christie Romero’s Warman’s Jewelry,
Ed. 3
on pages 51 and 52.




VICTORIAN vulcanite
bracelet with 1-3/4" by 1-1/3" oval floral and fruit front, 1-1/4" band,
adjustable.
View
View #V27897

VICTORIAN
vulcanite wrap bracelet with birds , 2″ front.
View #V26085

VICTORIAN vulcanite
cherries bracelet, 1" to 1-7/8" wide with 1-7/8" by 1-1/3" front oval.
View
View
#V27697




VICTORIAN Whitby jet bracelet
with lily-of-the-valley carved 1-1/4" oval front motif, 6".
View #V25882

VICTORIAN Whitby jet bracelet with engraved flowers, strung on elastic
so it fits 6-1/2" to 7" arm and is 1-3/4" wide at front. #V26451

VICTORIAN
Whitby jet
expansion bracelet, 6-1/2" by 1-1/3".
View #V25410




VICTORIAN lady
wearing a cross on a black ribbon, black earrings and a vulcanite bracelet
with a cameo. She leans on a prayer chair. Carte de viste marked "Negretti &
Zambra, Crystal Palace, Sydenham" along with information on ordering
portrait enlargements.


VICTORIAN
lady wearing parure of a jet necklace, bracelet and earrings.
Carte de viste marked "Silas Eastham, Photographer, 217 Lord Street,
Southport".
View
View

VICTORIAN lady
wearing a vulcanite hand brooch on her lacy scarf and faceted jet
bracelet on her arm. Carte de viste size 2-1/2" by 4-1/8", marked W.J.
Wellsted & Son, 19 & 20 Paragon St, Hull on both front and back, and
"Photographers of the Prince & Princess of Wales" along with "Copies can
be had at any time or an enlargement finished in oil or watercolors" on
the back. Back also has a birds and bamboo design. Backing is a light
mustard yellow color.
View




VICTORIAN jet square
etched design
center and faceted links strung on elastic bracelet, 6-1/3" when
relaxed by 1" wide.
View
View
View #V29468
VICTORIAN jet oblong
etched design center and faceted links strung on elastic bracelet, 6-1/2"
when relaxed by 1-1/2" wide.
View
View #V29465

VICTORIAN vulcanite band bracelet, 6-1/2" around relaxed and 1-3/4"
wide at front. View
#V29812




VICTORIAN jet faceted
bracelet, 6-1/4" to 7" wrist, 1-1/2" wide. #V28551

VICTORIAN jet faceted 2-1/8"
by 5/8" links and 1/4" beads strung on elastic bracelet, size 6-5/8" when
relaxed. #V29760

VICTORIAN jet wide
heavy faceted bracelet, 2" wide.
View #V29464




VICTORIAN vulcanite expansion bracelet,
7" by 1-1/4".
View #V27245


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet expansion bracelet with alternating hand carved and
smooth links circa 1870. The carved links have a starburst center and
geometrics designs. The bracelet is 6-1/4" inside when relaxed and 1-1/2"
wide, but it stretches to fit a 6-3/4" wrist comfortably. #V38816

VICTORIAN jet wide faceted
links strung on elastic bracelet, 5-1/2" around when not stretched by 1/2" wide.
#V29252





VICTORIAN
jet cross hatch carved ring circa 1870, a large ring at size
at 9 and 1/4" wide. Jet is brittle and very difficult to carve so a little
ring like this must have been very challenging to make.

View
#V37674

VICTORIAN jet carved ring
size 9, original box included.
View #V26677


There are several materials used to make this black
jewelry and they can be very difficult to distinguish between: jet, bog oak,
horn and vulcanite. Jet was hand carved, while the other materials were pressed or molded.

IDENTIFICATION: Jet brooches will have an applied pin back like this
PIN BACK and this
PIN BACK. An inset
back like this PIN
BACK
would indicate that the piece is vulcanite or another black
material, not jet.
Jet chains have links with two duplicate pieces which are pegged and then
glued together. Vulcanite links are all one piece with a slit in one end to
insert the next link. This can be done because vulcanite is malleable,
unlike jet which is brittle.
Jet lockets are smooth inside while vulcanite lockets are textured with a
design inside: Vulcanite
locket

Signed pieces are very hard to find, and when found they are
usually extremely well-carved. The jet workers only signed their very best
pieces and these pieces were often carved for a competition.

For information on identifying these materials, see the book
"JET" by Helen Muller.



VICTORIAN jet
carved lily-of-the-valley bracelet, 6-3/4" by 1/2" to 7/8". #V28059

VICTORIAN jet
bracelet of faceted links and a center clear rhinestone round disk strung on
elastic, 6-1/4" relaxed by 1" at widest.
View #V31330

VICTORIAN jet bracelet with carved flower center, 6-5/8"
relaxed by 3/4" wide, front piece is 1-1/2" by 1".
View
#V30054




VICTORIAN jet hand carved segments strung on double elastic bracelet,
7" by 3/4". #V29904

VICTORIAN jet squares strung
on elastic bracelet with alternating faceted and carved links, 5-1/2" when
relaxed by 1/2" wide. #V29251

VICTORIAN jet bracelet with
faceted slightly domed and faceted links strung on elastic, 6-1/2" by 1/2".
#V29135




VICTORIAN vulcanite brown bracelet with very
three-dimensional wheat motif, 7" by 1-3/4" by 3/4" back.
Vulcanite was originally black, and exposure to light has turned it this
milk chocolate color over time. View #V31882

VICTORIAN vulcanite bangle
with thistle design for Scotland, very unusual, adjustable and fits a +/- 7"
wrist, 1-1/2" at front and tapered back to 1".
View
View #V31129

VICTORIAN vulcanite milk chocolate brown bracelet
with very three-dimensional rose bouquet motif, 7" by 1-3/4" by 1" back.
Vulcanite was originally black, and exposure to light has turned it this
milk chocolate color over time. View #V31883




VICTORIAN Whitby jet faceted links strung on elastic bracelet, 6-1/2" by
1-1/8". #V32220

VICTORIAN jet expansion
bracelet with compass circa 1870, hand carved geometric design, relaxed size
a small 6-1/4" with 1" front and 1/3"
back. View
#V33044

VICTORIAN Whitby jet segmented carved grapes motif bracelet, 7" around
inside, 7/8" back and 1-1/2" front.
View #V32086

French jet was another name for the black
glass jewelry that was made to imitate jet in Victorian times.




VICTORIAN
faceted French jet (black glass) drop pierced
earrings, one with a tiny chip at the bottom, 1-3/4". #V28782

VICTORIAN French jet (black glass)
bow brooch with an embossed gold tone hair compartment,
1-1/3" wide. View #V28783

VICTORIAN
black glass "French jet" unusual barrette.
View #V23428




VICTORIAN French
jet (black glass) pins, 1-1/4", seen in Muller’s book "Jet" on page 124.
View #V29212

VICTORIAN French jet
(black glass) strung on elastic bracelet, 6-3/4" by 1/4". See Helen Muller’s
book "Jet" on page 124. #V29213

VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) faceted small pin, 1-5/8", see Muller Jet, page 124.
View #V29216


For more information about JET and other Victorian
black jewelry we recommend the excellent book ‘Jet’ by Helen Muller
and "Whitby Jet" by Katy & Helen Muller.


"Jet" by Helen Muller

Helen Muller