Victorian 18kt Large Hand-Carved Jet Urn Earrings
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 absolutely fabulous pair of carved jet earrings from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Crafted in 18kt rosy yellow gold, each earring features a stunning forward facing jet hoop which is carved into the shape of an urn. The polished jet reflects the light beautifully and an elongated bead dangling at the center of the hoop provides wonderful movement to the design. A gold flower-shaped accent rests at the base of the hoop, while two polished gold bead details flank the dangling bead, each one adding a wonderful eye-catching element. The top and base of the swinging center link is lined with an etched gold accent, and it hangs from a delicate twisted rope wirework bar. The topper is comprised of a carved jet ring, which is encircled by an etched gold border and resting at the top is a simple wire, allowing the earring to dangle with lovely movement. The rich black jet paired with the vibrant gold accents creates a dramatic, eye-catching appeal, and despite their substantial size, the earrings are wonderfully lightweight and comfortable to wear. The earrings frame the face beautifully, creating a perfect look day or night!
Measurements: Each earring hangs approximately 2 5/8" long, and measures about 7/8" wide, and is a little more than 1/4" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting. The carved jet is in near perfect shape considering the age of the piece, and is free of any serious chips or scratches, except for a few tiny chips near the top of surmounts, on the base, and a few tiny ones on the back. However, due to the size and color, they are not noticeable when worn. The earring wires are secure and in good working order.