Monday, January 11, 2016

Victorian Fashion: Black Jet

Hello. I hope that you had a great weekend!

During my recent curiousity about Victorian mourning fashions, I came across black jet, which was popular from the mid 1850's to the early 1900's. Jet is considered to be a minor gemstone and is a geological material derived from decaying wood under extreme pressure. Since black jewelry was worn during times of mourning, you will see it often in cabinet card photos of ladies wearing mourning clothes. And, not only was it used in jewelry, but it was also made into buttons, beads, and sequins. If you would like to find out more about it, you can read about the differences between jet, French jet, and onyx here.

I did find a few jet items to use in some future art projects, and thought they were very pretty.

I bought 30 of these for for a very reasonable price from Etsy.
I agree with the seller in that we are not sure what they are.
They are made of small wooden bases with a wrapping 
of black jet seed beads and added thread loops at the top.
She thought that perhaps they were used as loop closure buttons
on clothing or accessories,
or added as design to lamps, or perhaps shawls.
You can see the little loop...

Here are some small buttons with jet beads set
into them.
You can see that jet is not overly shiny,
but does pick up some light
(especially when the photographer doesn't know
how to control light! Ha!)...

My word of the year is LEARN.
I feel smarter already!

Have you learned about anything new so far this year?


  1. Sue, hello, I love Jet, too, and your buttons or jet adornments looks wonderful, I love to learn about things like that ,too :-) and like the raven I love all things shiny ,lol.

    I don`t think I have something interesting learnt ,yet, this year !!

    1. Hi Dorthe! Yes, I am like the raven also! I'm glad we share the same love of these vintage items. I hope you're having a great day way over there in your neck of the woods! It is freezing cold here, and supposed to go down to the 20's every night for the next several days. You are probably used to that, but here in the American South we are a little wimpy. XO

    2. Sue here it is snowing today, AND below cero , which means frost and slippery streets, and roads. So keeping away from there, and only walking along the beach -where it is also very cold, in the wind. I hope you are soon having warmer weather again Sue . xxoo

    3. Stay warm, Dorthe! I can't imagine walking along the beach in that kind of weather. Be careful and don't get sick! XO

  2. Oh wow Sue, this is beautiful! I have never heard of "jet" before. wow, I learned something! : )LOL It's gorgeous really~ Thank you for sharing. ~Karen O

    1. You are welcome. I love it when I discover that something exists that I never knew about before. Especially when it's as lovely as jet. Thanks for your visit! Hugs


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