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.
An unusual jet bracelet from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This bold piece is comprised of several hand carved jet links that together form a substantial bracelet. At the middle of the piece is a large centerpiece which portrays the shape of a 3-dimensional blooming flower. The flower has smooth center, encircling curved petals and a geometric border. Despite the size and appearance, the piece remains wonderfully lightweight and comfortable to wear, with smooth panel links that taper at the sides and widen as they reach the back. The links have been strung on black elastic cord, giving the design a flexible stretch, allowing the bracelet to easily slip on and off while accommodating multiple wrist sizes. It would make an impressive statement piece for the antique collector or modern woman's collection!
Measurements: Without being stretched, the inside of the bracelet (where a wrist would rest) measures approximately 2 1/8" wide and 1 3/4" tall. Thanks to its flexible design, it would fit comfortably on a small to large sized wrist. The round centerpiece measures 1 5/8" in diameter. The bracelet measures 5/8" wide at each shoulder, and 7/8" wide at the back.
Condition: The overall condition of the bracelet is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to any of the jet links, which are free of any significant chips or surface scratches. The stringing is secure and tight, and the flower center is intact.