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 was 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.
A fob is an adornment or a seal that hangs from the ribbon or chain of a pocket watch. Its purpose is to decorate or add weight to the watch chain itself making it easier for the watch to be withdrawn from a pocket. The fob would have sometimes been used to seal the wax of a letter or note.
A wonderful and unusual Whitby jet fob from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This simplistic piece is carved from solid jet, and fitted with simple sterling silver findings. A smooth sterling seal rests at the base, which is engraved with a set of initials in flowing calligraphy. A sterling ring is attached to the top of the handle, perfect for hanging the fob from a favorite chain. A stylish and versatile piece, it would make a unique addition to any jewelry collection!
Measurements: The fob stands approximately 1 1/2" tall, including the sterling surmount at the top. The oval seal at the base measures 1 1/8" long and 3/4" wide. The "neck" of the fob measures 1/2" wide and 3/8" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the fob is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the carved Whitby jet or to the sterling silver findings. There is a natural patina on the surface of the silver setting, which is a normal characteristic of antique jewelry.