Victorian vulcanite mourning locket

$99 $282.65

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  • Estimated Delivery:Mar 27 - Apr 03

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Large Victorian locket made of vulcanite, with a high relief ornate carving on
the front of a bird in flight surrounded by leaves and berries. The back of the
locket is plain. When open, each side has an intricate carved center and sides
and has a glass covered compartment. The compartment on one side contains a
lock of brown hair.

Vulcanite was introduced as a substitute for jet. Jet, particularly from
Whitby in the UK, was in demand for mourning jewelry in Victorian times. Rising
costs and reduced supply led to a search for substitutes and vulcanite began to
be used. Vulcanite is created from the heating of rubber and sulphur. Charles
Goodyear patented the process in 1846 in the US and Thomas Hancock patented a
similar process in the UK in 1856. Vulcanite is opaque and black dye was added
to it to make it black. It was able to be molded and thus mass-produced. Over
time, the color can fade to a khaki brown, sometimes mottled, and it may lose
its polish.

The locket is 4.45 cms (1 ¾ inches) long, excluding the fixed bale, and 3.8cms
(1 ½ inches) wide. It is 2.55.cms (1 inch) thick. The locket closes firmly. It
weighs 22 grams.

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