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Victorian Jet & Vulcanite Earrings



Morning Glory
Collects…

things we love to buy, wear and
share

Victorian Jet, Vulcanite, Bog Oak & Pressed Horn
Earrings, Stickpins & Objects


During part of the Victorian period from about
1860 to 1890, this 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 carried 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.

While similar designs can be seen in some of these lovely pieces of jewelry,
each was hand-made and the many different styles of jet earrings alone
reflect this uniqueness.




VICTORIAN lady wearing
elaborate jet necklace, a chalcedony brooch and a vulcanite head piece.
View

VICTORIAN lady
wearing jet portrait earrings and a black velvet ribbon with a pendant.
View

VICTORIAN lady
wearing elaborate vulcanite drops necklace.
View




VICTORIAN Whitby jet
earrings with screw and bolt design, circa 1870, 1-3/4" jet length only,
original shepherd findings. Very similar jet earrings can be seen on
page 102 of "Old Jewelry, 5th Edition" by Jeanenne Bell.
These earrings were seen in "Antiques & Collecting Magazine" page 49,
October 2008 in an article about Victorian jet jewellery called Black
Magic
by Anna Marie Roos, Ph. D. #V33042
VICTORIAN Whitby jet
earrings, carved and faceted teardrops, circa 1870, 3/4" jet length.
#V33039
VICTORIAN Whitby jet
earrings with circle link chain and ball, circa 1870, 1-3/4" jet length.
#V33040




VICTORIAN
Whitby
jet with portrait miniature on porcelain pierced earrings, circa 1870, 2". See
Bell’s "Collecting Victorian Jewelry" page 192.
View
View
View #V27912
VICTORIAN carved jet
with hand painted porcelain green Tyrolean boy tie pin, 7/8" by 5/8" by
2-1/3". View
View #V29920

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings
with banded agate centers, 1-3/4".
View
View #V29292




VICTORIAN jet carved
earrings in reverse teardrop shape, for pierced ears, 1-7/8".
View #V31331

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

VICTORIAN jet
earrings carved in infinity knot with etched design, 1-1/2" jet portion
only, for pierced ears . View
View
View #V31332




VICTORIAN Whitby jet
earrings, hand carved pierced ovals, jet portion 1-1/4" total length 1-5/8. #V33914

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved teardrops suspended in larger scalloped open teardrops, jet
portion 1-1/2" and total length 2". #V33915

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet earrings, hand carved faceted tops and body with two drops on each
earrings, jet portion 2" total length 2-1/3". There are three flea bite
chips on one earrings and two on the other, visible only under
magnification, so priced accordingly. #V33916




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved faceted pointed drops and faceted round beads, nice long dangles
with the jet portion 2-1/4" total length 2-5/8". The bottom two portions of
each earrings have old stable-looking surface cracks, so priced as is. #V33917

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet earrings, hand carved grapes and grape leaves design, a rare and lovely motif, jet
portion 1-7/8" and total length 2-1/4". #V33918

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
beautifully hand carved with circles and dental edges like a cog wheel
design, jet portion 1-1/8" and total length 1-1/2". #V33919




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved drops with faceted applied ovals and detailed edges, jet portion
1-1/3" and total length 1-3/4". #V33920

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
cross motifs with applied faceted balls, jet portion 1-1/3" total length
1-3/4". #V33921

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved faceted teardrops suspended in larger open faceted open teardrops, jet
portion 1-1/3" total length 1-3/4". There is one tiny flea bite chip at the
very top of one earrings, not visible except under magnification. #V33922




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved teardrop shapes with applied stars and detailed edges, jet
portion 1-1/4" and total length 1-1/2". #V33923

VICTORIAN Whitby
jet earrings, hand carved diamonds suspended from circles with applied balls and
carved edges, total length 2", jet portion 1-5/8". #V33924

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved drops with a nut and bolt design, carved on the sides and edges
and the top loop, amazing detail, jet portion 2". #V33925




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
teardrops with faceted fronts, carved edges, jet portion 3-3/4" and
total length 4-1/3". #V33926

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved teardrops with faceted ovals, carved florets, jet portion 1-1/3"
and total length 1-3/4". #V33927

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved and pierced with applied faceted balls on one side and florets
on the other, total length 1-1/2" jet length 1-1/8". These are smaller and
more delicate than most jet earrings. #V33928




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved balls within circles, total length 1-7/8", length of jet portion
1-1/3". #V33929

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved teardrops suspended in larger faceted open teardrops, catches
the light beautifully, jet length 1-1/3" and total length 1-3/4". #V33930

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved drops with applied faceted fronts, saw tooth edges, a nice long
size with jet portion 2" and total length 2-1/2". There is a tiny flea
bite chip at the top circle of one earring. #V33931




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings entirely hand made circa 1880.
Interlocking ovals and repeating balls comprise this unusual design, jet
portion 1-1/4" and total length 1-1/4". #V33932

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved balls suspended in open drops with decorated edges, a nice large
size at 2" jet portion 2-1/3" total length. One earrings has an old and very
stable crack above the dangling ball. #V33933

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved circles with faceted centers, dental edges, one minute chip
n the back of one earrings, invisible from the front, jet portion 1-1/3" and
total length 1-5/8". #V33934




VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved decorated open double drops with triangular tops, each with a carved
design, jet portion 1-1/4" and total length 1-3/4". #V33935

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved drops with applied balls, carved edges, jet portion 1-3/4" total
length 1-7/8". #V33936

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings,
hand carved 3-pieces with a very unusual design, jet portion 1-1/2" and
total length 1-7/8". #V33937




VICTORIAN Whitby jet long
dotted earrings with faceted centers, these three part earrings move
beautifully when worn and come with all original fittings, 2-1/8" jet
portion only, 2-1/3" total length. This is how genuine Victorian
jet earrings should look.

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 #V36450

VICTORIAN Whitby jet rare
lily-of-valley earrings, very rare design for earrings, 2
jet portion, 2-1/4" total length. These are complete with original Victorian
fittings just as they were made circa 1880.

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 #V36502


VICTORIAN Whitby jet faceted
double rounds earrings with all original fittings for pierced ears, jet portion
only 1-1/4, total length 1-1/2", complete with original Victorian fittings
just as they were made circa 1880.

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 #V36449




VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) cameo earrings, 1-1/2" total length.
View #V29214
VICTORIAN vulcanite
earrings with faceted round centers and scalloped edges, 7/8".
View #V29255
VICTORIAN vulcanite
teardrop-shaped ornate earrings with scalloped edge, 1-7/8".
View #V29232





VICTORIAN
Whitby jet earrings beautifully hand carved, 7/8" at
the widest and made for pierced ears. Notice the
hand carved open loops all around the edges of each earring. They are all carved
by hand, a really masterful thing to do with the hand made tolls that
were used back then, circa 1870.. Amazing workmanship and a lovely
design.

View
#V28872

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

VICTORIAN Whitby jet earrings with dental edge and round bead center,
5/8". View #V28787




VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) crepe textured earrings on 10k yellow gold wires, total 17/8".
View #V31778

VICTORIAN French jet
(black glass) flower earrings on 10k yellow gold wires, flower 1/2".
View
#V31777

VICTORIAN Whitby jet heart shaped beautifully carved flowers earrings, one
cracked on back but wearable, 3/4" hearts.
View
View #V29891




VICTORIAN
Whitby jet earrings with faceted oval and links, circa 1870, 1-1/2" jet
length. #V33041

VICTORIAN carte de visite of a lady wearing faceted jet beads necklace
and earrings. "A.&G. Taylor Photographers to the Queen".
View #Vkph46

VICTORIAN
Whitby jet earrings, carved and faceted circle and faceted bead, circa 1870,
1-1/4" jet length. #V33043




VICTORIAN vulcanite carved
suspended teardrop shaped earrings, black portion
2". View #V32062

VICTORIAN earrings, French jet faceted hoops on 14k yellow gold wires,
1-1/3". #V32053

VICTORIAN earrings, Whitby jet drop earrings with ball tops, 2-1/2"
total length. #V32054




VICTORIAN earrings, black painted ball earrings on yellow gold wires, 5/8". #V32055

VICTORIAN earrings, bog oak roses and leaves earrings on yellow gold
filled wires, 1-1/8" bog oak portion only.
View #V32057

VICTORIAN earrings, French jet (black glass) faceted drop earrings on gold
filled wires, total length 1-7/8". #V32058




VICTORIAN earrings, black log and floret drops earrings, unknown material,
total length 2-1/8". #V32059

VICTORIAN earrings, vulcanite fern-shaped with gold dots, French jet
(black glass) tops on gold filled wires, 2-3/4".
View #V32063

VICTORIAN earrings, black bell earrings with yellow gold filled clapper
beads, total length 1". #V32061





VICTORIAN
Whitby jet hand carved flower earrings with carved edges,
circa 1870-80, 1-1/2" total length. These came from a decades-long
collector who lived near Whitby, and we were honored to have been able
the purchase them.

View
#V34088

VICTORIAN pink shell
cameo set in jet earrings circa 1860 with original shepherds hook wires, 2-1/3" total length from top of wire to bottom of
earring. Very similar jet earrings can be seen on page 102 of "Old
Jewelry, 5th Edition" by Jeanenne Bell. #V33161

VICTORIAN
Whitby jet double Maltese cross pierced earrings 1-1/8" jet portion only, 1-1/2"
total length. These are complete with original Victorian fittings just as
they were made circa 1880. Like many jet earrings, these are light and
easy to wear.

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.
#V36611





VICTORIAN
vulcanite pendant earrings with balls and hearts design,
from the top of the wire to bottom of the dangly earrings is
2".

View
#V37927


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet hand carved long earrings set in karat yellow gold,
total length of earrings is 3-5/8", jet portion only 2-1/4". The carving is
both beautiful and detailed with scallops and cross hatching.

View
#V38481

VICTORIAN
Whitby jet acorn earrings total length 1-5/8", acorns alone
3/4", with silver filigree tops. #V38944

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.

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 jet
round carved drop earrings, 5/8" beads.
#V29116

VICTORIAN lady with
fancy hat and vulcanite necklace.
View

VICTORIAN jet carved earrings, 3/4".
View #V29892




VICTORIAN
jet faceted screw back earrings, 5/8".
View #V27802

VICTORIAN French jet (black
glass) pierced earrings, 1/2".
View #V26447

VICTORIAN jet earrings,
1/3" (small studs). #V27205




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

VICTORIAN jet drop earrings,
1-1/3" jet segments size , 1-1/2" total size with wires. #V29815

VICTORIAN jet faceted
drop earrings, 1-1/3". #V29921




VICTORIAN
French jet earrings, 2".

View
#V37969



VICTORIAN
French jet long earrings for pierced ears, entire length
3-1/4" and 1" wide at the bottom. These are long and unusual and
quite dramatic when worn.

View


View
#V37485




VICTORIAN jet horseshoe stickpin
with faceted "nails" design, 7/8" shoe on 3" pin. View #V28788
VICTORIAN jet domed
and carved stickpin, 3/4" top on a 3" pin. View
#V28786
VICTORIAN jet carved
small round earrings, 1/2".
View #V29219




VICTORIAN jet tie pin, helmeted warrior, 1" by 3/4" head on a 2-3/4"
stick. View
View #V29905

VICTORIAN jet carved flower
stickpin, 1" head with 2-5/8" stickpin.
View #V29218

VICTORIAN
jet pink shell cameo stick pin, 7/8" head. #V28063

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.

For information on identifying these and
other materials, see the booklet "What’s It
Made Of ?"
by Sherry Shatz.




VICTORIAN
bog oak pin cushion with original tag.
View #V25897

VICTORIAN bog oak pot, hand
carved with shamrocks, carved piggy and shamrocks lid and on delicate feet
with bail. View
#V31533

VICTORIAN bog oak pot
marked Dublin 1907, 1-1/3" .
View
View #V27217




VICTORIAN antique carved jet
umbrella handle with grapes and leaves design, fabulous workmanship, 6-1/2".
View
View
View #V29117

VICTORIAN bog oak thimble holder with thimble, 1-1/8" by 1-1/3". View #V31208

VICTORIAN bog oak pig with etched harp and
shamrocks for Ireland design, 2-1/4" by 1-1/2".
View
View
#V30058




VICTORIAN Irish bog oak harp table
ornament, 5-7/8". See page 26 in Helen Muller’s "Jet Jewellery and
Ornaments".
View #V27218


VICTORIAN
Whitby jet Caedmon Celtic 2-1/2" cross on 1-1/3" ammonite ("snake
stone") stand.
View #V27658

VICTORIAN bog oak harp hand
carved with shamrocks, wonderfully detailed, 3-5/8".
View #V31532




VICTORIAN Whitby jet hand
carved handle and
silver little bookmark, 4". View
View #V31982

JET carved ferns cigar holder with sterling fittings hallmarked "H.T."
Chester 1918, 3-5/8". View #V32202

VICTORIAN Whitby jet bookmark, 3-1/3".
View #V32219



VICTORIAN
rare Irish bog oak Police truncheon with carved Irish
harp and shamrocks design circa 1880s, it is 13-1/4" in length. This is
certainly heavy as it used to be a genuine Police truncheon and it is also
decorative enough to use for display. The shamrock is a symbol or Ireland,
and for some, it is also a symbol of St. Patrick, their holy saint, and
of the holy trinity. The harp, official emblem of Ireland, is the Trinity
College Harp. A web site regarding Irish symbols says that is a 15th century
Irish harp and is based on the Brian Boru or O’Neill harp.

View


View
#V31586




VICTORIAN
bog oak Irish shamrock carved boot hook, 7".
View #V27652


VICTORIAN
bog oak box carved with shamrocks 2-2/3" by 1-2/3" by 1-1/4".
View
View #V27790

VICTORIAN bog oak 12" by 1-1/2" shamrock carved truncheon.
View
View #V30094




VICTORIAN bog oak whist stand, etched "Killarney" and shamrocks, 2-1/2" by
2-3/4". View
View #V30059

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

VICTORIAN bog oak shamrock-shaped pin tray with etched
shamrocks and harp for Ireland, 3-1/3".
View
View #V30057







VICTORIAN jet carved
book charm, Bible on one side and cathedral on the other, 3/4".
View #V27659


VICTORIAN
bog oak charms, 2 pigs, 1 shamrock, approximately 1/2" each,
and jet heart and 5/8" book charm.
View
View
View
View
View #V27791

VICTORIAN jet horseshoe charm, 7/8". #V27899

VICTORIAN tiny jet book charm
with carved abbey motif, 3/4". #V27250



VICTORIAN jet book charm
with etched flowers design,
small 1".
View #V28549

VICTORIAN Whitby jet book
charm with etched stars and leaves design on both sides, circa 1870, 1-1/4"
by 1". #V28548

VICTORIAN
Whitby jet book with lightly carved design on both sides, circa 1870, 1-1/8"
by 3/4". #V29134




VICTORIAN jet
book charm, tiny carved 3/4".
#V28552

VICTORIAN jet
book charms, large 1-1/4".
#V28548
ALL THREE

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 jet Whitby carved red
lead pencil , 4-7/8".
View
View
#V33047

VICTORIAN Whitby jet
hand carved inkwell, circa 1880, 1-7/8" tall, 2" base and 1-3/4" top, very rare.
#V33046

VICTORIAN vulcanite match
box, book like with "FEU" (French for fire) on the spine, 2-1/2" by
1-1/2". View
View #V33081



VICTORIAN Whitby silver napkin
ring with blue enameled shield, 1-5/8" across by 1" wide.
View #V31592

WHITBY EPNS (electro-plated
nickel silver) souvenir chrome plated lobster eating implement with red and blue
enameled Whitby emblem, circa 1930, 7-1/2".
View
View #a31806

WHITBY souvenir "British Manufacture"
marked five-hole mini flower pot, 3-1/4" by 2-1/4".
View
Xa31961






VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
mirror with a mistletoe and landscape design, an unusual vanity article.
View
View
View
View
View #V51103

VICTORIAN jet
pen and pencil set with matching hand carved designs and Whitby Abbey, 5"
long. Sets are rare and this set is particularly lovely. The third piece is
a red pencil with the name "Whitby" on the handle.
View
View
View
View
View #V33165


VICTORIAN

Whitby jet hand carved cigar holder with carved nude woman in seashell with
fig leaf, circa 1870, 4-1/4". It is carved entirely out of jet, and the
hollowing out of the pipe part is amazing in itself. Jet can be brittle and
is not easy to carve at all.
Her top or right leg is totally free and you can see light between it and
the shell and left leg except at her foot, where it touches again. The rest
of her body is visible at the front and both sides, but attached to the
shell at the back.
Her neck is free from the shell on 3 of 4 sides with only the very back
touching and a hole almost invisibly drilled behind it, done on purpose but
for what reason I cannot say. Her face is lovely and detailed, and even her
fingernails show.
This is the work of a master carved, and my friend Katy says carving of this
caliber would usually have been done for a competition in which the carver
would want to show off his best skills. Pieces like this are not often found
any more.


View


View

#V33038


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