Victorian Jet Book Chain & Locket Necklace
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.
A fabulous jet book chain necklace from the Victorian (ca1880) era! The piece has a beautiful and bold look and is an exceptional example of antique jet jewelry. The chain consists of intricately carved alternating jet links that graduate in size which connect to each other by simple oval shaped links. Each rectangular link lies flat and slightly curved and has a lovely etching on its face. At the center of the necklace is a large round link with a faceted bead set in its center. Dangling from this link is a carved shield shaped locket which has a smooth face and a raised center. The back of the locket reveals a space to hold your favorite photograph. At the back of this fantastic jet necklace is a hidden, hook clasp. This beautiful piece is very special and unusual and would make a fabulous addition to any collection!
Measurements: The jet chain measures approximately 18 1/2" long. The etched links range in size with the smallest being 3/8" wide, slightly more than 5/8" tall, with a depth of slightly more than 1/8" and the largest being 1/2" wide, 1" tall, with a depth slightly less than 1/4". The large circular link found at the center, has a diameter of approximately 1”. The shield locket measures 2” at its tallest point, 1 3/8” at its widest point, and has a depth of slightly less than 1/4".
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. There are minor chips and some surface wear on the jet pieces, particularly where the links connect, however these are not noticeable when worn. The clasp is secure and in good working condition.