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Victorian Jet & Vulcanite Hands



Morning Glory
Collects…

things we love to buy, wear and
share

Victorian Hand Motif Jewelry


Like many Victorian items, jewelry could hold a message
to those who knew how to interpret it. In the calling cards the message
was printed on the card, as shown below. A lady’s hand was one of the
most popular motifs in jewelry and the object the hand held symbolized
the message. Examples are roses for love; a dove for the soul winging
it’s way to heaven; forget-me-nots for remembrance; a wreath for hope
and eternal life. But some hands are lovely just for the grace of a
human hand.



This scrap card is friendship greetings
"Friends will meet and friends will sever,
But true friendship lives forever."

"Life bear for you it’s sweetest flowers"
The rose and dove symbolize peace and love.

"May true friends be around you"




VICTORIAN pressed
horn hand brooch, 2-7/8", holding roses and forget-me-nots wreath laurel
sheaf symbolizing love victorious. English registry mark on the back for
August 18, 1870.
View
View #V8502

VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand holding wreath and flowers brooch, 3". See hand brooches in Luthi’s
Sentimental Jewelry
on page 20.
View #V25275


VICTORIAN
pressed horn hand holding sheaf and flowers pin,
2-7/8". May 18, 1880 English registry mark on back. For a similar brooch
see page 26 in Helen Muller’s "Jet Jewellery and Ornaments" and
"Warman’s Jewelry, Ed. 3" page 51.
View
View #V25278




VICTORIAN vulcanite
large hand holding wreath brooch, 3".
View #V29234
VICTORIAN
extra
large vulcanite hand holding a wreath of wheat and roses brooch, 3".
View #V29140
VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand and flower brooch, 2-3/4". Roses and
forget-me-nots wreath
laurel
sheaf symbolize love victorious
View #V25886




HAND BROOCHES
Back view
Top: hand holding wheat and flowers, probably made of horn, circa 1880,
hallmarked on back. View
#V8502
Middle: Width 1-7/8". #V13204 Bottom: Mother-of-pearl.
#V8500
VICTORIAN lady
wearing a hand brooch.
View

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand brooch, holds a wreath of roses, 1-5/8".
View #V29895




VICTORIAN hand
holding flowers, a piece that was originally part of a bracelet.
View #V25195

VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding wheat wreath and roses pin, 1-5/8".
View #V26088

VICTORIAN
2" vulcanite hand brooch holding sheaf and wreath of roses, symbolic
of hope
and love.
View
#V13204





VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding sheaves pin, 2-7/8", small chip on
back. View
#V25346

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding wreath of roses brooch.
View #V27296

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
brooch, 2-7/8".
View #V27211




VICTORIAN creamy plastic hand holding fan pin, 1-7/8".
View
#V27251

VICTORIAN mother-of-pearl
hand pin, 1-3/4".
View #V25274

MOTHER-OF-PEARL
1-3/4" hand brooch holding a pearl and wearing a gold wire ring and
bracelet.
View
#V8500




VICTORIAN
ivory hand pin with ring and bracelet, 1-7/8". #V27847

VICTORIAN sterling hand pin
and clip with tiny Persian turquoise stones, 925/100 mark on back, 1-1/2".
View
#V29842

VICTORIAN ivory hand brooch
with yellow gold band "bracelet" and rod, 2". View #V31786




VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand holding fan pin, 2-1/3". Fans often referred to a
flirtation. English registry mark on back dates this to May 18, 1880. See page 127 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
View
View #V25190

VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand holding key and rose pin, 2-7/8" . See page 127 of Helen
Muller’s book "Jet".
View #V25281

VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding fan brooch, English registry mark on back for 1881, 2-1/3". See
page 127 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
View
View #V26702


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.

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 vulcanite
hand with lacy cuff holding basket pin, 2-1/3".
View #V25280

VICTORIAN
vulcanite
hand holding basket of fruit brooch, 3".
View #V25880

VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand with fluted cuff holding basket pin, 2-1/4". See page 127 of Helen
Muller’s book "Jet".
View #V25279




VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand holding a basket of fruit brooch.
View #V29146
VICTORIAN
jet hand brooch, crescent shaped with a hand holding arc of
flowers, 1-3/4". View
#V25878

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand holding basket brooch
with c-catch, circa 1880, .
View #V27230




VICTORIAN vulcanite hand holding basket brooch,
Rd No 15623 for date 1885, 2-3/4". Old c-catch replaced long ago
with a safety catch.
View #V27230

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding basket brooch, circa 1880, 1-3/4".
View #V28133

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding basket of fruit brooch, 2-1/4".
View #V27376



VICTORIAN horn hand with basket of fruit brooch, 2-1/4" . View #V29814

VICTORIAN pressed horn hand
holding basket brooch, marked on back "Rd. 15623", 2-1/4".
View
View #V29763




VICTORIAN hand pins
to show comparative sizes. See page 127 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".

VICTORIAN
vulcanite "Fede" or clasped hands pin signifying friendship, 2-5/8". English
registry mark on back May 18, 1880.
View
View #V25192

VICTORIAN jet pendant with
painted porcelain lady with a mirror portrait, 2".
View #V25926




VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand pin, 2-1/4". View #V25277

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand with
rose symbolizing love brooch, 1-3/4".
View
#V29144


VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand with pointing finger brooch, 2-1/8".
View #V28894




VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding rose for love brooch, 1-7/8".
View #V25194

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding rose brooch, 2-1/4". See page 127 of Helen Muller’s
book "Jet".
View #V27225

VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding single flower pin, 1-3/4".
View #V25276




VICTORIAN vulcanite
hand holding wild roses brooch, 2".
View #V25187


VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding forget-me-nots brooch, 1-5/8".
View #V24995

VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding flowers pin, 2-1/8".
View #V25191




VICTORIAN
hand surrounded by flowers pin, very unusual carved vulcanite, 2-1/8". See
page 127 of Helen Muller’s book "Jet".
View #V25193

VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand holding bird pin, 2". "P. Pat No.13124", circa
1884.
View #V26449

VICTORIAN
pressed horn hand surrounded by wreath brooch, 2-1/8". See
similar brooch in Carole Tanenbaum’s "Fabulous Fakes" on page 22.
View #V25925




VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
brooch holding daisies, 2-1/2".
View
#V28370

VICTORIAN
vulcanite hand brooch in a very unusual shape, 2-1/3". View
View #V28774
VICTORIAN vulcanite hand
holding tennis racket brooch, 2-1/8". See page 127 of Helen
Muller’s book "Jet".
View #V29509


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