Circa 1880s late Victorian vulcanite cross pendant in a simple, substantial shape has a metal ring for stringing a ribbon or chain through. Measures 3” long and 2” across, with a depth of ½”. As is typical with vulcanite jewelry, the color has lightened ever so slightly with age, from black to a very dark brown.
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.
Vulcanite jewelry was molded as well as carved (though clearly molded pieces were less expensive to produce). This cross exemplifies the molded technique.
Very good condition, with a flea bite to one corner and the aforementioned color change.
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Antique through Vintage Fashion & Jewelry