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Victorian Jet & Vulcanite Brooches



Morning Glory
Collects…

things we love to buy, wear and
share

Victorian Jet & Vulcanite
Brooches


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, each
could carried special
meaning as a memento of a loved one or a sentiment. 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 when not in mourning as well, and worn for its
beauty and sentiment.

From my dear friend
Katy Muller, author of the book "Whitby Jet Jewellery": "Should you wish to find a jewel which will protect
you from the evil eye, from serpents and from dogs, go to Whitby, a
small fishing village famous for its medieval abbey and Dracula but most
famous for its jet manufacture.

Jet is an organic gem, like amber, pearls, coral and ivory. It is a
type of brown coal, a fossilized wood of an ancient tree similar to our
present day Araucaria or monkey puzzle tree. These trees flourished in
the Jurassic period about 180 million years ago. When the trees died
they fell into the river and were carried down to the sea. On their way
they collected debris and small creatures and chemical changes altered
the wood to jet. Jet is a poor conductor of heat and so feels warm to
the touch and there are two types of jet, hard and soft. There is no
doubt that in the minds of Yorkshiremen the best hard jet of all comes
from around Whitby, found in the cliffs and on the beaches. This was the
jet that was used for the jet jewellery industry. Mining began in about
1840 and stopped around 1920. Pieces of jet can still be found washed
up on the beaches in Whitby today.

As a result of the Great Exhibition in London in
1851, jet jewellery from Whitby became highly popular, but it was the
death of Prince Albert that boosted the Industry when the courts
announced that everyone should follow the mourning dress code of
black and "the jewellery shall be jet". During this period jet workers
were to be found all over the town and purpose built jet shops were
opening all over Whitby. The workers were earning good money and
working all hours turning out beautiful jet jewellery.

It was the new rail network to Whitby from
Pickering in 1836 that brought Victorian holiday makers to the seaside,
thus boosting the jet industry. No holiday would be complete without a
souvenir or gift to bring home, often pieces carved with the Abbey, the
large 3rd century St. Hilda’s Abbey which still dominates the town
today.

As the century progressed and fashions changed to
lighter clothes, fashion in jewellery followed. Heavy black crinoline
dresses were no longer worn so the large bulky black jewellery was no
longer required. The high price of Whitby jet jewellery saw huge
amounts of imported stimulants like vulcanite, pressed horn, bois durci
at a much cheaper price and mass produced being more affordable.
Unfortunately today so many of these copies are sold mistakenly for
Whitby jet.

So in a period of just 10 years jet went from high
popularity to being shunned and unwanted, something the jet workers
could never have foreseen. Fortunately today jet has regained its
popularity as a fashion accessory.

Always try and buy jet from a reputable seller who
knows the difference between jet and the imitations." Whitby Jet by Katy Muller




VICTORIAN lady wearing a vulcanite cameo brooch and
earrings. Carte de Viste marked "Lonsdale Abell, Kendall Lane,
St. John’s Hill, Leeds".

VICTORIAN
lady wearing a portrait pendant set in jet on a black neck ribbon and a bog
oak oval brooch at her neckline. Carte de viste size 2-1/2" by 4-1/4",
marked "R.P. Skeolan, Harrogate" on the front and "miniature painter" on the
back.
View

VICTORIAN lady
wearing a vulcanite hand brooch on her lacy necklace 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.
View




VICTORIAN hand
carved Whitby jet and shell cameo brooch with Greek key design edge,
2" by 1-3/4". View #V29821

VICTORIAN Whitby jet setting with a
pink hand carved shell cameo brooch, circa 1870, 1-5/8".
View
View #V29217

VICTORIAN Whitby shell cameo
set in Greek key motif carved jet brooch on gold plaque back, circa 1870, 1-5/8".
View #V28766




VICTORIAN large
pink shell cameo set in jet brooch with pendant loop, 2-1/3". The lovely
lady has roses in her hair and is a left-facing profile. View #V33162

VICTORIAN shell
cameos set in jet brooches and earrings. #Victjetcams

VICTORIAN cameo
brooch of Nyx, Goddess of the Night in "Night with her Children". Hand
carved pink shell is set in jet, circa 1860, 2-1/8" by 1-3/4".
Beautifully hand carved to
depict ‘Night’ after a relief done by Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen in
1815.
She carries her twin children
Hypnos, god of sleep, and Thanatos, god of death. Her wings spread over the
earth to create the dark of night. The owl, bird of the night, is one of her
attributes.
This brooch 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 #V33163




VICTORIAN Whitby jet and cameo brooch, 1-7/8" by 1-1/2".
View #V31295

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet hand carved signed brooch with hinge and c-catch and a pendant loop on the back. Signed jet
pieces are very rare treasures. The subject is the Madonna with "Ecce Ancilla
Domini" (The Annunciation) lettered on the front, set in gold tone,
2-1/3". The maker’s signature is, "From John Harland, jet ornament, made in
Whitby". Mr. Harland worked in New Quay circa 1867. Most of the jet
pieces that were signed were marked to be entered into a competition. This
piece came from the collection of Helen Muller, author of "Jet" the best
book on Victorian jet and vulcanite jewelry. This brooch 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 #V29163

VICTORIAN Whitby jet and pink shell
cameo brooch, crack at base of
cameo, 2-1/8" by 1-7/8".
View
View #V29888




VICTORIAN Whitby jet
intricately carved brooch with center portrait hand painted on porcelain and signed "A"
by the artist, one small 1/8" fleabite on a back edge and invisible from the
front, 2-1/4" by 2". Flea bites are typical of jet of this age and these are
barely noticeable except under magnification. I love the colorful contrast
of the lady against the black jet.

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 #V36479


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet brooch of an angel with wings carved by
John Hoggarth, fabulous carving but with two minute fleabites under her hair, 2" by
1-3/4". Flea bites are typical of jet of this age and these are barely
noticeable except under magnification. Carver signed pieces like this are
extremely rare and were often made for competitions.

This very special piece is from the personal 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 jet collections. tt 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 #V36476

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet oval flowers and leaves brooch with a wheat sheaves and balls edge,
large, lovely and heavily carved with terrific detail, 2-1/4" by 2". There
are two minute flea bites on the back only. 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 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
#V36503





VICTORIAN
Whitby jet pink shell cameo with beautifully pierced edge,
2".

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
#V36458


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

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet shell cameo brooch with the carved design of a lady picking fruit with her
village in the background, wonderful depth of design, 2" by 1-5/8".

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 #V36499




VICTORIAN
Whitby Jet Mary Queen of Scots brooch, and earrings, brooch is large but
has a tight hairline crack, brooch size is 2" by 1-5/8", earrings 10k wires,
1-1/2" total length. The crack is visible under 10k magnification only. The
earrings have a Greek key border and the brooch does not, so they aren’t an
exact match. The flower tops on the earrings are probably not original but
they do work well with the cameos.
View
View
View
View
#V34588

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
set cameo brooch with a bird both in the cameo and on the frame, an
unusual one-of-a-kind piece all hand carved and finished, circa 1870.
The seated lady has a Grecian hairdo and classical look, seated on a
pile of stones and musing on the bird on her finger. Do note that there
is a slight and stable crack along right side
of the cameo itself but it is firmly attached to the jet so very safe,
2-1/4" by 1-3/4". View
View #V33688

VICTORIAN jet Tyrolean
boy brooch with beaded rim around the portrait, 2" by 1-3/4".
View #V36054




VICTORIAN Whitby
jet brooch with inset hand painted porcelain "Tyrolean boy", 1-3/4". These
plaques were made in Austria and sent to Whitby, England, to be mounted in
jet for jewelry. They are a young Tyrolean boy, but are also called the
"gypsy boy" or "green boy".
View #V29224

VICTORIAN
painted porcelain miniature set in jet Tyrolean boy portrait brooch, circa 1870, 2-1/8". These
plaques were made in Austria and sent to Whitby, England, to be mounted in
jet for jewelry. They are a young Tyrolean boy, but are also called the
"gypsy boy" or "green boy". For a
similar piece see page 32 in Helen Muller’s "Jet Jewellery and Ornaments"
View #V25351

VICTORIAN
vulcanite green boy pendant, 2-5/8".
View #V28876




VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
painted child on porcelain brooch, 1-1/3".
View #V29291
VICTORIAN
vulcanite
full face cameo brooch with carved Greek key border, 2-1/3".
View #V28834
VICTORIAN jet carved brooch set with a small green
Tyrolean boy portrait on porcelain, 1-1/3".

View
#V29138





VICTORIAN jet oval deeply carved flowers brooch with scallop and bead
edging, 1-7/8". View
View #V28789

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
carved cameo brooch and earrings matched set in original box, brooch 1-7/8" by
1-1/2", earrings 2-1/8" by 7/8". This set was seen in
"Antiques & Collecting Magazine" page 50, October 2008 in an article about
Victorian jet jewellery called Black Magic by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D.
View
View
View
View
View
View
View
View #V31827

VICTORIAN jet lily-of-the-valley hand carved brooch, 1-1/3" by 1-1/8".
View #V31207




VICTORIAN vulcanite bird
brooch, very three-dimensional, 2-1/3".
View #V29816

VICTORIAN jet and hand painted on porcelain lady in pink and blue
portrait brooch, Greek key design edge, 1-7/8" by 1-1/2". This
brooch 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 #V29889

VICTORIAN vulcanite bird
brooch registry mark stamped on pin back "Rd No 15623", 2-1/2" .
View
View
#V31773




VICTORIAN Whitby jet and hand painted cherubs brooch and earrings with
a beautifully carved setting with flowers, leaves and branches designs,
earrings 2-1/2" total length including the wires, circa 1870.
View
View
View

View
#V37737

VICTORIAN jet
brooch with portrait center of two boys and their dog on a picnic, charming
and circa 1870,
2-1/8" by 1-3/4". View
#V36809

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
carved brooch with a pietra dura inset of flowers. #VHM2




VICTORIAN
jet and green Gypsy boy set of a brooch and earrings,
crazing to back of earring but in jet, brooch 2-1/3" by 2", earrings
without loops 1-1/3", total length 2-1/4".

View


View


View
#V38369

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
carved matching brooch and earrings with delicate floral pierced and carved
design. View #VHM4




VICTORIAN vulcanite
blackberry pin, 2".
View #V27898

VICTORIAN pietra dura set in jet
brooch with white rose, daisy and buds and green leaves, 2-1/8" by 1-3/4".
This brooch 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 #V32743

VICTORIAN lady wearing a pair
of jet earrings and a fern brooch. R. Riter & Co. Photographers, Bombay
& Poona, India.
View
View
View



VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand carved
and pierced oval brooch, circa 1880, 1-7/8" by 1-1/3". This brooch has
a clean-lined design for such a true antique piece.
View #V33558

VICTORIAN jet and pietra
dura brooch, 1-1/2" by 1-/78".
View #V33507

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
carved and pierced knot
brooch, circa 1880, 1" by 1-1/2". This symbol of infinity could have
referred to eternal love. View
#V33621




VICTORIAN jet carved rose,
lily-of-the-valley and forget-me-nots flowers brooch, has a chip on back,
not visible when worn, 1-3/4".
View #V28871

VICTORIAN
jet carved oval roses
pin, 1-3/4".
View #V28194

VICTORIAN
vulcanite oval brooch covered in fuchsia flowers, symbol of humble love, 1-3/4".
View
#V25884




VICTORIAN Whitby hand
carved jet cameo brooch, 1-7/8" by 1-1/2".
View
View #V31553

VICTORIAN jet
carved oval fern leaf brooch w/pendant loop, 1-3/4".
View #V25875

VICTORIAN vulcanite Dickens brooch, 2-1/8" by 1-3/4".
View #V29887




VICTORIAN Whitby jet
large intricate knot brooch, carved amazingly from one piece of jet, 2-1/4" by
2". Knot motifs in jet jewelry were most often carved in the 1840s.

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 #V36497


VICTORIAN
jet cross hatch carved ring circa 1870, a larger ring at size 9,
possibly a man’s ring, and 1/4" wide. Jet is brittle and very difficult to carve so a
ring like this would have been very challenging to make.

View
#V37674


VICTORIAN Whitby jet knot
brooch with pierced design reminiscent of a stylized buckle, amazingly
carved from only one piece of jet, 2-1/2". Knot motifs in jet jewelry were
often carved in the 1840s.


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
#V36459





VICTORIAN
Whitby jet mourning locket brooch with entwined "IMO" In
Memory Of brooch. The locket back has two colors of hair curled under glass
and held with tiny seed pearls, one gray curl and one brown, 1-5/8" by
1-13".

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 #V36496


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet faceted cross brooch 1-3/4" and 5/8"
thick.
This shape is called a "cross pattee" or "formée" and as you can see, it has
flat-ended arms narrowing towards the centre.

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
#V36451


VICTORIAN Whitby jet
Roman soldier cameo, a nice Classic design. There is a shallow dimple in the jet on the back the size of
a ball point pen tip, original to the piece, 1-3/4" by 1-5/8".

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 #V36472


VICTORIAN carte de visite of a lady wearing a jet brooch and earrings
and a vulcanite locket on chain, 2-1/2" by 4". "E. Le Jeune Photographe,
Naples". View
View #Vkph22

VICTORIAN carte de visite of a lady wearing a bog oak brooch, a
double strand of jet beads from which a cross is suspended and earrings,
2-1/2" by 4". "W. Turner, 40 Albion Street, Leeds".
This photo was used in "Antiques & Collecting Magazine" page 51, October
2008 in an article about Victorian jet jewellery called Black Magic
by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D.
View
View #Vkph18

VICTORIAN carte de visite of a lady wearing a vulcanite locket on a
black ribbon, 2-1/2" by 4". "Henry Knight, Artist & photographer, Regina House,
Grand Parade, St. Leonards on Sea".
View
View #Vkph19


There are several materials used to make mourning
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 these:
PIN BACK and this
PIN BACK. An inset
back like this would indicate that the piece is vulcanite or another black
material, not jet: PIN
BACK
.
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 sometimes carved for a competition.

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




VICTORIAN carved jet bar
brooch with an ammonite insert, 2". An ammonite is a fossilized mollusc
which is extinct. They are found, among other places, around the city of
Whitby in England, just as jet is. See similar brooch on page 50 of Helen
Muller’s book "Jet". This necklace was seen in "Antiques &
Collecting Magazine" page 50, October 2008 in an article about Victorian jet
jewellery called Black Magic by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D.
View
#V28895
Whitby, England, is known
for it’s ammonites.

VICTORIAN antique carved jet
umbrella handle with a well and deeply carved grapes and leaves foliate design
and fabulous workmanship. It is 6-1/2"long and circa 1870s. Just imagine the elegant lady who
carried this!
View
View
View #V29117

VICTORIAN carved jet with
cream and brown striped blue
john brooch, 1-7/8".
View
#V29713




VICTORIAN
jet and seed pearl hair brooch with plaited blonde and brown hair under
glass, 1-3/4". Seed pearls in Victorian jewelry often represented tears.
View
#V29447

VICTORIAN jet carved sea
shell shaped brooch, 1-1/8".
View
View #V29257

VICTORIAN jet oval brooch
with silver floral engraved applied plate, 1-5/8".
View #V27254




VICTORIAN jet grapes brooch with twist surround,
small chips on back, 2".
View #V28198

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand brooch in the shape of the sign
for "love", 2-1/3". View
View #V28774

VICTORIAN vulcanite pierced
twig frame design with floral center brooch, 1-5/8".
View #V29301



VICTORIAN Whitby jet Queen
Victoria brooch dated and hand carved carved 1887, this can be seen in
Helen Muller’s book "Jet Jewellery" page 128 and it came from her own
personal collection, 1-7/8" by 1-18".
View #V36504

VICTORIAN Whitby jet large
lover’s knot brooch with carved Greek key design, 2-1/2" by 1-3/4".
View #V35102

VICTORIAN hand carved jet
brooch fashioned like a door knocker, 1-1/2" by 1-3/4".
View #V62821




VICTORIAN jet brooch with applied gold flower bouquet, pierced and carved
brooch, 2-1/8" by 1-5/8".
View
View #V30056

VICTORIAN
jet acorn tie pin, a very unusual piece, 3-5/8".
View
View #V29958

VICTORIAN jet large lover’s knot brooch,
2-1/8" by 1-1/2".
View
View #V30055




VICTORIAN
French jet arrow ornaments, set of two, 6-5/8". See these in "Jet"
by Helen Muller on page 124.
View
View
View #V31984

VICTORIAN cased
ambrotype photo of lady wearing jet and cameo brooch and jet bracelet, 3-3/4" by 4-3/4".
View
View
View
View #V31994

VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) in gold filled settings fern motif brooch and
earrings, brooch 2" earrings total 1-1/4". This can be seen in the
S.F. Myers & Co.
Jewelry Catalogue, 1885
.
View #V32064




VICTORIAN
Whitby jet Lover’s Knot brooch with hand carved designs, 2" by
1-5/8". Other than the scratches and two back chips seen under
magnification, which are expected in a piece this age circa 1860, this is in
very good condition and there are no flaws seen from the front.

View
#V38945

VICTORIAN
Whitby jet table and chair doll house furniture with etched design of the Whitby Abbey
on each piece, 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 aren’t easy to find.

This very special pieces are 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. #V36460


WHITBY JET
hand carved rose flower and leaves bar pin on it’s original
card, made by jet carver Joe Lyth who died in about 1952. He was probably
the last of the jet carvers according to Helen Muller, author of "Jet
Jewellery", to whom this belonged. The pin is 1-3/4" by 1/2".

View


View
#V38794




VICTORIAN
style 1980s hand carved jet brooch with a cloisonne inset of
pink and blue flowers, 20th century catch on the back, 1-1/2" round, Helen’s
favorite to wear.

View
#V38728

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 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, it
will pick up paper when static is created by rubbing it on wool or silk.

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.




View
BOIS DURCI Bois Durci
was developed in the 1850s from animal blood, a byproduct of Paris
slaughterhouses. This material could be worked with heat and pressure and
made into articles such as hair combs and
items of jewelry. It was also used in Victorian times to copy
jet jewellery. It is black and made of wood shavings compressed with a
type of plastic and dyed black, very convincingly like jet. #V29472
View




VICTORIAN vulcanite high
relief lady profile cameo pin gold metal surround, 2".
View #V27235

VICTORIAN vulcanite
cameo with twisted surround, 2".
View #V27208

VICTORIAN jet
carved cameo brooch, chip on back, 2-1/4".
View #V28069




VICTORIAN lady wearing
an elaborate cameo mourning piece.
View

VICTORIAN molded
black vulcanite on glass
cameo brooch with beaded edging, signed on the back "W.P.", circa
1880, 1-5/8". It is rare to see pieces like these signed. The lady
wears a veil and a double strand of beads, and all around her are scallops,
followed by the beaded edge. The glass is applied on the back to a silver
metal finding. There is also an "o" ring to thread a chain through.
View
View
View #V28832

VICTORIAN lady
wearing a cameo vulcanite necklace.
View




VICTORIAN jet cameo brooch with pendant loop on back, 1-7/8".
View #V28195

VICTORIAN lady
wearing a jet cameo brooch,
earrings and pendant. Carte de viste marked "L. Abell, Kendal Lane, Leeds".

VICTORIAN vulcanite pendant
hanging pin with lady cameo, 3-1/3".
View #V27249


VICTORIAN Whitby jet
brooch with a cameo of a lady, beautifully carved by hand circa 1870, 2".
Jet was worn for mourning, but Queen Victorian made it so popular that was
also worn for it’s beauty alone.
View
#V32111

WHITBY JET JEWELRY
by KATY MULLER
author of the book "Whitby Jet"

Because my mother Helen was THE jet expert in
England, I developed an interest in this wonderful jewelry early in my
life. Her book "Jet Jewellery and Ornaments” came out in 1984
then her larger book "Jet" in 1987. In 2009 we collaborated on an
updated version of Jet Jewellery and Ornaments book called “Whitby Jet”, with
some new information and lots of new color pictures.

Mum knew many of the jet workers in
Whitby and her research included interviews with those who were then still
living. She even had the opportunity to move a complete Victorian jet work shop and
rebuild it where it can be seen today in the York Museum. Between the two
of us, we have handled hundreds of pieces of this wonderful jewelry.

The best jet for jewelry was mined in the area around Whitby, England. Jet
jewelry has been made for hundreds of years, but it was made most popular
starting in the
Victorian era after the death of Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, Prince Albert in 1861
when the whole country went into mourning. It was not only a sign of
mourning, but a fashion statement as well.

The best jet jewelry that is found today is well
carved and polished and has all the original fittings. A couple
of small “flea bites” (conchoidal fractures) in jet is not unusual and
it shows its authenticity because vulcanite and other simulants do not chip in
this way. Unfortunately a lot of jet on offer these days that is
made up of odd pieces and beads of jet which are re-made into necklaces,
bracelets and earrings. These aren’t original or as they should be, and
have little value. Buy from a reputable well-informed dealer who knows
jet jewelry if you want the real thing.

In general, it is difficult to exactly date any
jet piece, but certain motifs were popular in certain decades. The knot
motif was most popular in the 1840s for instance, the green gypsy boy on
porcelain in 1860s, lockets in the 1870s and larger brooches in the
1870s. As time went on and fashion changed the smaller pieces were
came into vogue.

Good Victorian Jet jewelry is getting harder and harder to
find, so if you see something you like buy it while you can! It
will only increases in value. And enjoy wearing a
famous piece of Victorian English history!

KATY MULLER


.


VICTORIAN Whitby jet anchor,
unusually large, 3-7/8" by 1-3/4". The anchor is beautifully carved
and unusually large, but the way the pin back was attached is a bit messy. It
does not affect the ability to wear it or show fro the front though.
View
View
View #V32314

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand carved cameo brooch of a
lady, 2", beautifully carved. View
#V32111

VICTORIAN jet knot brooch and
long chain. Charles A. Gandy, 5 Bishopsgate St. Without, Opposite the Church,
E.C.". View
View #Vphot20




VICTORIAN vulcanite deeply
carved fleur-de-lis pin and scrolls, 2" .
View #V27255

SWISS or Tyrolean
peasant carved black wood jewelry box with swing-out velvet-lined drawers,
circa 1845, 4" high and 8" long. This is the perfect jewelry
box for jet jewelry!
View
View
View #a29196

VICTORIAN vulcanite
fan pin, 2". View #V25283




VICTORIAN lady wearing a
vulcanite neck chain.
View

VICTORIAN lady wearing a
vulcanite neck chain and locket
View

VICTORIAN lady wearing
faceted jet beads.




VICTORIAN
oval vulcanite flowers (roses, fuchsia, etc) brooch, 2".
View #V26087

VICTORIAN
vulcanite knot carved oval brooch, 1-7/8".
View #V27252

VICTORIAN
vulcanite brooch with two deeply carved flowers, 2" wide and 3/4" deep.
View #V28892



VICTORIAN vulcanite flower
bouquet brooch, British registry mark on back for 1880, 2-1/8".
View
View #V29158
VICTORIAN jet pin with
silvery painted birds and nest, 1-3/4".
View #V27647
VICTORIAN jet small domed
pierced oval brooch, 1-1/3".
View #V29467




VICTORIAN vulcanite
highly decorated floral etched fluted frame brooch, 2-1/2". See similar
pieces on page 90 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
View
#V27663

VICTORIAN jet faceted
surround brooch, 1-1/2" by 1/2" deep.
View
View #V29463


VICTORIAN
vulcanite oval flower brooch with fruit and scrolls frame,
2". View #V27646




VICTORIAN jet entwined design
brooch.
View
View #V29474
VICTORIAN jet faceted,
carved and pierced with entwined initials "IMO (In Memory Of)" brooch,
1-5/8".
View #V29223
VICTORIAN jet hand carved
brooch, lily-of-the-valley design, 2".
View #V25360




VICTORIAN vulcanite 50th
Jubilee "Dei Gratia, Victoria Regina, 1837-1887" brooch, 1-3/4".
View #V29230

VICTORIAN
vulcanite fruit brooch with pear, apple and berries, 2".
View #V27648

VICTORIAN
vulcanite mourning brooch with 4 leaves motif, 2".
View #V26614


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet set matching brooch and earrings with intricate carved flower
design, brooch 1-1/2" earring itself 5/8" wide.
View
View #V35103




VICTORIAN vulcanite oval
brooch with oak leaf, acorn and wheat motif, 2-1/3". See "Warman’s
Jewelry, Ed. 3" page 51, and also Luthi’s Sentimental Jewelry page
20.
View #V27202


VICTORIAN
vulcanite wheat sheaf brooch, 1-5/8".
View
#V27379

VICTORIAN
vulcanite
bird pin, 1-7/8″. I suspect this is a robin, symbol of death and
resurrection, along with the symbol of infinity behind it. View #V26086




VICTORIAN vulcanite
brooch with a central flower and two leaves, 2".
View #V29295
VICTORIAN vulcanite oval
pierced brooch with floral (tulip?) design in the center, 1-3/4".
View #V29299
VICTORIAN vulcanite
pierced bar with flower and leaf design center brooch, 2".
View #V29300




VICTORIAN
jet carved 1-5/8" brooch with matching 5/8" screw back earrings.
View
View
View
View #V27801

VICTORIAN jet earrings with dental edge and round bead center,
5/8". View #V28787
VICTORIAN jet brooch with dental edge and oval smooth center, 1-1/3". View #V28785





VICTORIAN
antique Whitby jet "grandma" bar pin, 1-3/4".
What a great gift for your own Grandmother, and it is well over 120 years
old!

View
#V28070


VICTORIAN
jet name "Jane" brooch, 1-7/8". See name
pins on page 50 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
View #V27904


VICTORIAN
jet carved name pin, "Ellen". #V26062




VICTORIAN jet long oval
souvenir brooch engraved "Beverly Camp, 1889", 1-5/8". See similar
pieces on page 70 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
View #V29225
VICTORIAN
French jet faceted and slightly curved bar pin, 2".
View #V28867
VICTORIAN jet oval dental
edge souvenir brooch with bird design, "4th D.V.A.", 1-5/8".
View #V29226




VICTORIAN jet domed center
and carved edge oval brooch, 1-3/4".
View #V29221

VICTORIAN
vulcanite bow brooch, 2".
View
#V25888

VICTORIAN jet high domed
etched with cross and Greek key designs, 2-1/8" by 3/4" deep.
View
View #V29220




VICTORIAN Whitby jet faceted
teardrops brooch, circa 1870, 1-1/2" .
View #V33045

VICTORIAN bar pin, black
onyx with gold ivy leaves and seed pearls, circa 1890, 1-1/2". This can
be seen in the
S.F. Myers & Co. Jewelry Catalogue, 1889
.

View
#V32448

VICTORIAN black bow brooch with mother-of-pearl insets circa 1880, 2".
View
View #V33123




VICTORIAN
rare
jet faceted ring, size 5-1/2. #V29136

VICTORIAN
jet oval faceted and carved brooch, 1-3/4".
View #V28874

VICTORIAN
jet horseshoe charm, 1". #V28873




VICTORIAN jet
love, faith and hope charms, 1". See page 90 of Helen Muller’s
book "Jet".
#V25189

VICTORIAN vulcanite anchor pin, 1-5/8". The anchor motif symbolizes
"Hope".
View #V25887

VICTORIAN
jet hand carved brooch, open lily 2".
View #V25361




VICTORIAN jet oval
brooch, 1-5/8. View
#V29137

VICTORIAN
vulcanite Maltese shaped cross with flowers and design, 1-1/2".
View #V25885

VICTORIAN vulcanite
eye-shaped brooch with intricate tiny leaves and balls design, 2".
View #V29297




VICTORIAN jet hand carved
brooch, lily-of-the-valley, 2-1/8".
View #V25365

VICTORIAN jet hand carved brooch, floral center, 2-1/4″.
View #V25359


VICTORIAN
jet hand carved brooch, diamond and swirl motif, 2-1/4".
View #V25364





VICTORIAN
vulcanite bar pin1-5/8".
View #V25347


VICTORIAN
jet hand carved brooch, center round with lily-of-the-valley,
1-3/4". View
#V25362


VICTORIAN
jet rose carved bar pin, 2".
View
#V25349




VICTORIAN
jet floral carved bar pin, 1-5/8".
View #V25348

VICTORIAN
"Real Whitby Jet" hand carved brooch on original card, faceted with diamond
shapes, 2" #V25340


VICTORIAN
jet hand carved brooch, open stylized flower center, 2".
View #V25363




VICTORIAN
vulcanite banjo brooch, circa 1870, 1-3/4".
View #V29142

VICTORIAN vulcanite lion face chatelaine
holder, 3".
View #V25409

VICTORIAN vulcanite
banjo pin, 2". View #V25286





VICTORIAN
vulcanite rose flower bar pin, 1-7/8".
View
#V28061

VICTORIAN
vulcanite flowers bar brooch with ribbed edge decor, 1-3/4".
View #V29143

VICTORIAN jet
brooch, well carved elongated oval, 2-1/4"/
View #V28550




VICTORIAN "Whitby Jet" hand
carved brooch on original card, knotted motif, 1-3/4". #V25345


VICTORIAN
"Whitby Jet" hand carved brooch on original card, rose and
lily-of-the-valley, 2-1/4". #V25339

VICTORIAN "Whitby Jet" hand
carved brooch on original card, bar pin with starburst center, 2-1/8". See
page 70 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
#V25341




VICTORIAN "Whitby Jet" hand
carved brooch on original card, rose and leaves, 1-7/8". #V25343


VICTORIAN
"Whitby Jet" hand carved brooch on original card, fleur-de-lis
ends and twist center, 2". #V25342

VICTORIAN "Whitby Jet" hand
carved brooch on original card, bar pin with starburst center and fluted
ends, 2". See page 70 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet". #V25344




VICTORIAN vulcanite
rectangular with dental edging carnations brooch, 2".
View #V27378

VICTORIAN
vulcanite horseshoe and criss cross brooch, 2".
View #V26679

VICTORIAN vulcanite horse shoe and
flowers pin, 1-3/4".
View
#V26448




VICTORIAN vulcanite horseshoe clover
brooch for good luck, 1-7/8".
View #V28869

VICTORIAN vulcanite bar
brooch with lucky horseshoe, 1-3/4".
View #V29231
VICTORIAN jet
hand carved horseshoe and faceted studs brooch, 1-7/8".
View #V26678




VICTORIAN jet pin
gold and pearl, 1-1/4".
View #V27240

VICTORIAN onyx bar pin with seed pearls and gold metal
design, 1-3/4". View
#V28201

VICTORIAN
vulcanite lock fastener, 1-1/4". #V25879




VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) faceted small pin, 1-5/8", see Muller Jet, page 124.
View #V29216
VICTORIAN French
jet (black glass) pins, 1-1/4", see Muller Jet, page 124.
View #V29212

VICTORIAN carved
floral bar pin.
View
#V5301




VICTORIAN vulcanite
buckle with cherries, morning glories and floral motif, 2-1/4" by 2-1/3".
View
View
View #V27901

VICTORIAN vulcanite hair
comb, circa 1870, 4-3/4" by 3-1/4". (See Romero’s "Warman’s
Jewelry, Ed. 3" page 52.
View #V27838


VICTORIAN
vulcanite buckle with violets and roses motif, 1-3/4" by
2". View
View #V27900




VICTORIAN vulcanite
and paste circle pin, 1-1/3".
View #V28067

VICTORIAN
jet buckle with paste stones, 2-1/8" by 1-1/2".
View #V28870

VICTORIAN Jet round
brooch with clear glass center stone, circa 1920, 1-1/3".
View #V27253




VICTORIAN jet brooch on
original card. This was seen in "Antiques & Collecting Magazine" page 50,
October 2008 in an article about Victorian jet jewellery called Black Magic
by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D. #V28803

VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
carved hand brooch. View #VHM6

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet hand carved stick pin circa 1880, 3" long by 3/4" top. An amazing amount
of detailed carving for such a small piece.
View #V33295




VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) insect pin with flowers and leaves, 1-7/8". French jet is black glass
used in the late Victorian era to emulate Whitby jet. It is usually more
shiny and the pieces much more delicate than jet.
View #V35883

VICTORIAN French jet
starburst brooch, 1-5/8". French jet is black glass used in the late
Victorian era to emulate Whitby jet. It is usually more shiny and the pieces
much more delicate than jet.
View
#V35680

VICTORIAN French jet
butterfly, 1-1/2". Vauxhall glass is a colored glass with a mirrored
back. French jet is black glass used in the late Victorian era to emulate
Whitby jet. It is usually more shiny and the pieces much more delicate than
jet. View #V35679




TO TELL JET FROM FRENCH JET:
French jet is glass, so colder than
jet. Touch it to you lip which is most sensitive to temperature. Also, the
pieces on French jet are almost always small and faceted like the one
above…
…and mounted on a flat metal back

Real jet will leave a black charcoal-like mark when rubbed gently on
an emery board. And brooches will have a pin mounted like the one above with
no screws used. Screws are used in vulcanite.


VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) or Vauxhall glass faceted bug pin with great detail, 1". This
can be seen in Benjamin’s "Antique Jewellery" on page 71.
View
#V33032




VICTORIAN jet pad lock
closure, grooved
front and back, 1-1/4" by 1-5/8" .
View #V32575

VICTORIAN jet pad lock
closure, made up of a vintage catch and a jet bracelet component,
1-1/2" by 7/8". View
#V32576


VICTORIAN
jet decorative pad lock made up of a vintage catch and jet bracelet
component, 1-1/3" by 1-1/3".
View
#V32577






WHITBY jet in it’s raw form, front and back of one piece.

Whitby jet slab. These come in all sizes, large and small.
Having held one in my hand and tried to work it myself, I have a whole new
admiration for the jet workers who made such lovely jewelry of this
material.

Whitby raw jet before it is worked.


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