This fabulous cameo pendant features the profile of a beautiful woman wearing an elaborate coiffure, exquisite jewels and a lovely gown. The woman is sensitively carved from jet. The jet carving is attached to a plaque of gutta percha. This wonderful Victorian pendant hangs from a vintage gold filled rope chain. Circa 1880.
Jet was made popular in the mid Victorian period. Queen Victoria was in mourning for her husband for decades; as a result mourning attire became fashionable in society. The naturally black color of jet made it a logical material for use in the mourning jewelry worn at that time. Jet (petrified lignite coal) was mined in Whitby England and the majority of Jet jewelry from the 19th c. was made in England.
Gutta percha is an early plastic made using the sap of a tree. It was one of the more prominent materials used alongside jet and vulcanite to create the black mourning jewelry popular in the Victorian period. Over time gutta percha fades from a black-brown to a pretty khaki color.
Details.....The pendant measures 1.48" wide and 2.11" long with bale. The chain is 19" long. In Very Good Antique condition. You should always expect some wear on vintage and antique pieces, we consider it part of the charm.
Item number rg221.