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from the archive
Victorian Vulcanite Collar

Vulcanite - a combination of sulphur and India rubber - was developed in the mid-Ninteeth 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 multiple rods of vulcanite strung on (slightly stretched-out) elastic. You can still smell the slightly burnt-rubber smell that is the telltale sign that you're dealing with Vulcanite and not one of the other black mourning jewelry materials. 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 matte 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.

This product is final sale.


  • Materials

    Vulcanite, elastic, brass clasp with black enamel or paint

  • Age

    c. 1870

  • Condition

    some chips to black paint on clasp, some wear, scratches and chips to Vulcanite components, elastic could use replacing.

  • Size

    7" long (but stretches), 1 1/4" wide





please note:Terms of Sale

Shipping for orders during the sale is FREE for purchases over $100. For purchases under $100, a flat $7 fee within the USA will be charged to cover packaging and shipping costs.

  • For sale orders, we'll be using minimal packaging and shipping via USPS first class mail. Since these sales are always extremely popular, expect to wait up to 4 weeks for shipping and handling. We have two employees and expect many hundreds of orders. You'll receive an email when your order ships, which may take several weeks. Please be patient!
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  • Additional antique items will be added daily. If you place multiple orders, EMAIL US with both your order numbers. We’ll refund you the second shipping fee and will combine all items into one package.
  • All purchases of sale items are FINAL sale. No refunds or exchanges.