Queen Victoria wore mourning black after the death of her husband Prince Albert in 1861, until her death in 1901. The rest of the British Empire followed, wearing mourning jewellery following the death of a loved one.
Whitby jet was the favoured material for mourning pieces, but substitutes such as Gutta Percha, Bog Oak and horn were used. The one closest to jet was Vulcanite. Discovered around 1839, Vulcanite was patented by Charles Goodyear in 1846. It is a rubber compound hardened by chemicals and heat, light and black in colour. it can be highly polished like jet. Vulcanite items are moulded, rather than carved as jet is.
This is a stunning antique mourning wide cuff bracelet. It is circa 1890s and has a superb cameo of a young woman. The high relief details or her hair and expression are very lovely. The back of the bracelet has a cross over section which is expendable to allow a firm fit.
Dimensions are : the cameo plaque is 2 inches high x 1 3/4 wide; the cameo is approx 1 5/8 inch high x 1 1/8 wide and the cameo depth is 5/8 inch; the bracelet tapers from 1 1/4 inches to 1 inch at the back; the diameter of the bracelet is 2 1/4 x 2 inches. Weight is 28.3 grams. The bracelet is in superb antique condition with the cameo glossy and with minimal wear evident, and the overall color of the piece a very deep black/brown. (there is a little dust visible on the images)
This is a superb Victorian mourning piece to be worn or collected.
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