Victorian 14KT Gold Vulcanite Cameo Earrings
An exquisite pair of vulcanite cameo earrings from the Victorian era, bezel set into 14 karat yellow gold. The vulcanite is jet black and in great condition. The portraits of the Victorian women featured on the earrings are high relief and have great detail. During the late part of the Victorian period this kind of material was very popular to make jewelry. Black was a stylish color, not just an ornament of mourning and it was Queen Victoria that led the way in style. The earrings are for pierced ears; they are 3/4 of an inch or 1 inch approximately with the gold wire loop. Looking at the backs of them you can see the artisan's process and how the vulcanite was used with a mold to create these beautiful earrings. Vulcanite was sometimes called ebonite. It was discovered circa 1839 and was used mostly for jewelry. It is a rubber compound hardened by chemicals and heat. It can be polished like jet, and these earrings have a nice shine to them. There cameo earrings date to the 1880s.
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