Antique Victorian Carved Whitby Jet Pendant with Hand Painted Musician with Tamborine on Porcelain. Original Hand Painted Portrait Miniature on Porcelain mounted in a beautiful large piece of hand carved Whitby Jet made into a Pendant with ornate designs and a flourish at the top with hole to thread a ribbon - highly collectible Victorian piece - the painting featuring a romantic style Young Man - a Minstrel playing a tambourine in colourful felt hat with feather and wearing a cape - (for more about the piece see below) the painting is in good condition with only lights scuffs to the paintwork only visible very close up, in addition this piece of Whitby Jet is also in good condition for its age with only a few small nibbles/scuffs to the edges - overall this is a particularly attractive large pendant with plenty of detail and quality in the carving and the painting - please check photographs which form part of the description and do help - presented in gift presentation box with velvet lining - don't miss it!
180 million years old Whitby jet was formed during the Jurassic era and is anaerobically fossilised wood. The history of the use of Jet dates back to the Bronze age when jet was honed using primitive tools and carved jet artefacts were found in important burial sites. Real true Whitby Jet which was mined in Yorkshire is increasingly scarce and highly collectible and is no longer mined so the only deposits now are those washed up on the shores. Whitby jet was prized by Victorians because it is the most beautiful deep intense black colour, far more so than Jet found anywhere else, once polished it produces the most lustrous shine.
It is also lightweight, and carves well, but much more durable, with the ability to retain its lustre and avoid hairline cracks - much more so than the jet found elsewhere in the world and so very sought after. It was the material for significant styles of jewelry that were popular during the 19th century. The height of its popularity was around the 1870s when small workshops of artisan craftsmen produced the finest pieces for wealthy Victorians. Longs strings of beads, carved earrings, cameo brooches, crosses and buttons and rings were all produced. The Great Exhibition of 1851 introduced Whitby Jet to the World.
The Empress of France and Queen Victoria were known for their Jet jewellery. After the death of Prince Albert in 1861 Queen Victoria went into mourning and she exclusively wore Whitby Jet, which then of course lead to the trend for the whole country to wear it as a fashion trend. Heritage craftsmen still produce Whitby jet today but in very limited amounts. Hand Painted Porcelain Miniatures were a speciality of the Bavarian area in Europe during this period.Such pieces are often referred to as in the Vienna or Berlin style and were hand painted and then sent to England to be added to Whitby Jet Jewellery. This particular piece is likely to be a romantic or sentimental image of a wandering musician or gypsy - this figure is playing a tambourine - from the folk music of the area and wearing the clothing of the Tyrolean folk tradition often portrayed in famous works from the period. Pendant with loop 3" tall, and 1.75" wide. Porcelain oval 1.75" long and 1 5/16th" wide. Weight of pendant alone 30.2 grams.
Weight with box 91 grams before packing.