Beautiful carved Whitby jet earrings circa 1870s-1880s.
The ear wires are base metal (brass, I believe), which may have been gold plated at some point but have worn down some.
Box is for display purposes only.
The phrase "as black as jet" was coined by William Shakespeare and is still used today to describe the deepest, darkest black.
But did you know that the phrase comes from the semi-precious gemstone of the same name?
Jet is essentially fossilized wood, formed when prehistoric trees, similar to today's Monkey Puzzle trees, sank to the bottom of the sea or a river and became pressurized, resulting in a hardened, organic gemstone after millions of years.
Jet can be found all over the world, and carved pieces have been discovered at bronze-age mound burial sites, but it came to the height of its "modern" popularity during the Victorian era.
Queen Victoria began wearing jet jewelry when Prince Albert died in 1861, making it a highly desirable material for mourning pieces, as well.
+++ Measurements +++
Approx. 2" in length without the ear wires, which add an additional 1/4"
+++ Condition +++
Lovely condition with minor age-related wear. No significant flaws to note, however there is a slight size difference between the two earrings, as they were hand carved and are therefore not totally identical (though they are definitely a pair!).
+++ Please read +++
This item is not new, and as such, it has wear commensurate with age. As with all older vintage and antique items, please handle with care.
All items are sold as-is, and I do my best to point out all condition issues and provide a detailed description and photographs.
Unless specified, items have not been cleaned.
I do not accept returns or offer refunds. Please see all photos, read the entire description, and ask any questions before purchasing.