Circa 1880s Victorian vulcanite cross pendant features an ornate carved floral design and has a metal ring for stringing a ribbon or chain through. Measuring 3 1/8" long by 1 5/16" across, the cross has a depth of just under ¾" . It has turned from black to dark brown with age, primarily on the front of the cross and on the raised flowers.
Made by combining natural rubber with sulfur, the vulcanization process was patented by British Thomas Hancock in 1843 and American Charles Goodyear in 1844. Jewelry made from it became a popular mass-produced substitute for the more expensive black (jet and onyx) jewelry so fashionable in the mid- through late Victorian period. It could be both molded or carved (though clearly molded vulcanite was less expensive to produce). I believe this example utilizes both techniques, with the floral design a carved one, on top of a mold-made cross.
This wonderful example of Victorian black jewelry is in very good condition, with no issues other than the age-related color change.
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Antique through Vintage Fashion & Jewelry