C.1860-1870. Victorian extra large Whitby jet bead necklace. The beads are strikingly large in size. These are the largest we've handled. Jet is fossilized wood, which has been compressed over thousands of years. The material was found at the seaside town called Whitby in east England, and was named after the place of the origin. With its natural color of rich black, Whitby jet became a very popular in the Victorian period, and was widely used to make mourning jewelry.
This necklace has such a modern and timeless look, and these rare-sized beads offer the bold statement. The clasp works securely. The beads are restrung and ready to be worn. The necklace is comfortable when worn, and overall in good condition with minor wear in some beads that are mostly in rearer section.
Length: Approximately 17.5" (when closed)
*The last photo shows some examples of Victorian Whitby jet jewelry at National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Image from the book, 'Jewellery in the age of Queen Victoria', p126.