Victorian Jet Hand-Painted Portrait Pendant
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 impressive painted jet pendant from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This artistic piece, which is quite substantial in size, is comprised of a carved teardrop-shaped pendant that hangs from a large fluted bail. The surface of the jet has the wonderful hand-painted portrait of a young woman. The color and detail of the image is incredible, including delicate hair, fine facial features, and realistic folds and accents in her clothing and headdress. The portrait is surrounded by a shimmery painted golden border that contrasts beautifully with the rich black jet. A large jet bail is attached to the top, allowing the pendant to be hung from either a heavy or fine chain. A wonderful Victorian piece, it and would make a special addition to any collection!
Measurements: The pendant hangs approximately 2 1/2" long, is 1 1/2" wide and 3/8" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is good. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the carved jet or painted portrait, and the bail is secure and intact. There is some minor wear to the border of the painted portrait, which is normal for a Victorian era piece and does not detract from the beauty of the design.