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 wonderful and unusual pair of carved jet earrings from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Each substantial earring has an elongated teardrop design with a hand carved cameo at the base. The cameos themselves are very detailed, depicting the faces of two individuals shown in profile. Each portrait includes flowing locks of hair, intricate facial features, and flowers set in the hair. Surrounding each cameo is a heavily carved border, providing wonderful texture. The earrings hand from carved jet rings at the top, which are attached to gold earring wires. When worn, the earrings frame the face beautifully, making quite a dramatic statement. They are perfect for the antique jewelry lover's collection!
Measurements: Each earring hangs 2 5/8" long, is 1" at the widest point and is a little less than 1/2" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the earrings is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the carved jet plaques or cameos. Both gold earrings wires are intact and securely attached.