Can you imagine the time and skill that it took to carve this intricate lovers knot from one large piece of Jet? I wonder if the carver got in on the first try? This unusual and fantastic material, Jet, was extremely popular in the reign of Queen Victoria. It’s considered a gemstone and yet it is truly closer to coal than diamond; made from wood that has been pressurized for millennia, it was found in the Eastern Midlands of England, in particular a place called ‘Whitby’.
This fantastic example of a large Jet brooch caught my eye for its silky smoothness and excellent condition. It is a lovers knot, and was quite possibly worn as mourning jewelry to mark a lost love. Jet can be a bit brittle and I often see it chipped and cracked, but not so here. The brooch measures 70 mm from end to end and 46 mm north to south, it is 19.3 mm thick. This wonderful Victorian piece has a metal catch and pin stem and weighs 22.4 grams.
Hand crafted in Victoria’s England, in about 1860.
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