A rare and well crafted pair of Victorian earrings created most likely from Vulcanite, possibly Bog Oak but not likely. Composed of long tear drop shapes with a molded pattern as background with carved bleeding heart vines applied at the bottom of the earrings. They dangle to 1-/3/4"(4.3cm)from the ear lobe or 2-1/4" with the ear wire and are 5/8 » at their widest point and 1/2" deep where carved. Earrings are circa 1860's with original ear wires, not replaced. They are in excellent antique condition. Ear wires could be replaced with gold or silver if preferred. Vulcanite also called ebonite, was first invented in 1843 by Thomas Hancock. It was made by combining and heating sap of the Euphorbia or Ficus trees from Malaysia with sulphur. It was most commonly used for jewelry and was most often molded, not carved and mainly used for making jewelry. Vulcanite varies in color from black to brown. Sometimes confused with Gutta percha, but Gutta percha was never used in jewelry. After Prince Albert's death in 1861, Queen Elizabeth decreed a period of mourning which lasted 40 years. This resulted in a great demand for fashionable and affordable black jewelry. Bog Oak is fossilized wood or peat found in Ireland. It is a brownish-black, and has a woody texture was another popular material used during this time .
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