Victorian Hand Carved Jet + Diamond Snake and Heart Beaded Necklace 17"
Jet is a black fossilized wood (other theories believe it to be a form of coal or sap similar to amber) found in many 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 are 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.
The snake has been a powerful image since the Victorian era and continues to be popular even in modern jewelry. It has been an inspiration for jewelry design for ages, often used to symbolize eternity, everlasting love, life and protection.
A magnificent and unique snake necklace from the Victorian (ca1880s) era! Hand carved Jet beads are strung together to create a stylized snake that wraps around the neck to form a fabulous necklace. The graduated beads form the snake's body, giving the appearance of articulated scales, and together meet at the center where two carved links represent the snake's head and tail. The wavy tail features a loop at the end that fastens to a push clasp at the side of the snake's head, which features two sparkling diamonds depicting the snake's eyes. A wide slit represents the snake's mouth, which dangles a gorgeous heart-shaped Jet link featuring a raspberry red French paste stone at the center of a 6-point sterling starburst. The contrast between the rich black color of the Jet and the sparkling stones makes a stunning statement, and the piece rests beautifully along the neckline. The links are hand-strung on black cord, and the piece is lightweight for comfortable wear. It would make a fantastic addition to any jewelry collection!
Measurements: When fully extended, the snake measures 18.75" in total length. The length of the snake that would fit around the neck (without including the heart and snake head extension) measures approximately 17". The snake head measures 7/8" wide and the widest scaly bead measures 3/4" wide.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no significant damage to any of the Jet links and the stringing remains in excellent condition. The push clasp closure is secure and in good working condition and both the paste stone and diamonds are intact.