Victorian Extra Long Vulcanite Chain

$750.00
About Details History
Vulcanite - a combination of sulphur and India rubber - was developed in the mid-Nineteeth century largely by Charles Goodyear (the tire guy). It can be white or lots of other colors, plus it's easy to work with, so it was often used to imitate coral, tortoiseshell and jet - especially the latter, as black mourning jewelry became more popular. This necklace has something going for it that I haven't seen on any other vulcanite chain: it's LONG. Long enough to drape around your neck twice at least. There's no clasp or ornament to detract from the somber round links. It may have been worn during the first stage of mourning, where the bereaved wasn't allowed to express themselves with decoration or color (other than black). After a certain amount of time had passed, mauve or slightly more embellishment could be added back into one's wardrobe. Queen Victoria dictated the amount of time it was appropriate to wear mourning clothes. 

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  • Materials: vulcanite
  • Age: c. 1870
  • Condition: excellent
  • Size: 54" long
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC. 
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more

About Details History
Vulcanite - a combination of sulphur and India rubber - was developed in the mid-Nineteeth century largely by Charles Goodyear (the tire guy). It can be white or lots of other colors, plus it's easy to work with, so it was often used to imitate coral, tortoiseshell and jet - especially the latter, as black mourning jewelry became more popular. This necklace has something going for it that I haven't seen on any other vulcanite chain: it's LONG. Long enough to drape around your neck twice at least. There's no clasp or ornament to detract from the somber round links. It may have been worn during the first stage of mourning, where the bereaved wasn't allowed to express themselves with decoration or color (other than black). After a certain amount of time had passed, mauve or slightly more embellishment could be added back into one's wardrobe. Queen Victoria dictated the amount of time it was appropriate to wear mourning clothes. 

less
more

  • Materials: vulcanite
  • Age: c. 1870
  • Condition: excellent
  • Size: 54" long
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Nolita, NYC. 
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more