Victorian Jet Hand Carved Thistle Earrings
Jet is a black fossilized wood (other theories believe it to be a form of coal or sap similar to amber) found in may countries including France, Spain, the United States, Turkey, China, Germany, India, Poland and Russia. It is formed when wood would fall into stagnant water and then fossilize, similar to the way that coal was made. There is generally two recognized types: soft and hard Jet. It is believed that the soft Jet was formed in fresh water and the hard in salt water. When her beloved Albert died, Queen Victoria bought and wore masses of Jet. As a result, the Jet trade received much publicity and entered a boom period moving far beyond simple mourning.
Absolutely wonderful and unusual carved Jet earrings from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Each earring begins with a sterling silver earring wire that is riveting into an upside down "U" shaped Jet link that is open in the center. Swinging from a bar in the center of the "U" is a larger eye shaped plaque of Jet that has a round, 3-dimensional cameo-like center. The image, which is hand carved, depicts 3 thistles with greenery. The carving is wonderfully detailed and very unusual. In the top and bottom corners of the eye shaped link are 2 cutouts that look like 3-leaf clovers. The earrings have a wonderful and unique design and would make a lovely addition to any collection!
Measurements: Each earring hangs a little more than 2 5/8" long, is 7/8" at the widest point and is a little less than 3/8" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. There is no apparent damage to the carved Jet plaques or cameos or to the earrings wires.