Circa 1820, a rare and unusual carved Whitby Jet antique seal fob. Once worn on a pocket watch or chatelaine chain and used to seal letters this piece is now a unique pendant that you can wear daily and adore!
This fob has been fashioned into a handsome neoclassical column shape with lots of intricate hand-carved detailing. The seal at the bottom is carved in a geometric diamond pattern and turns out a very well defined impression in a beautiful quilted pattern so you could use it to seal letters if you wanted to add an elegant flourish to your correspondence.
The top of the fob has a threaded swivel clip clasp consistent with the Georgian period. This 'dog-clip' swivel clasp is quite different to later designs. The collar unscrews to open it revealing a hinged base, it closes by clicking it back into the slot and screwing it back to lock it into place. An early and extremely secure type of fastener.
Georgian and especially Victorian Whitby jet jewellery is closely associated with mourning and we have seen very few surviving fobs and even fewer that have been carved into a wax seal. Perhaps it was originally used to seal letters written a period of mourning, we shall never know! A marvelous and unique addition to your antique jewellery collection.
MATERIALS: 14-15ct rolled gold (gold filled) swivel clip & ring
GEMSTONE: Whitby jet
MEASUREMENTS: approx. 2" (5cm) tall from the bottom of the dog-clip to the bottom of the fob. The fob itself measures 1-1/2" x 1" (3.8x2.5cm). Dog-clip 20x8mm
DATE: Georgian/ early Victorian, circa 1820
WEIGHT: 8 grams
CONDITION: in very, very good condition there may be a few very minor 'flea bites' to the edges of the jet but it is very difficult to tell due to the intricacy of the carving, the seal at the bottom is free of any flaw. The dog clip is still a lovely bright gold with no wearing away of the gold plating, the screw mechanism works perfectly and opens easily and closes tightly. We have a longer video on our website at www.mercymadge.com
Not to be confused with French jet, which is glass, Whitby jet is a fossilized mineral gemstone millions of years old that is only found in and around Whitby, a seaside hamlet in England. If you have never enjoyed genuine Whitby jet jewellery before it is a beautiful intense black and glossy gemstone, warm to the touch and very lightweight!
At Mercy Madge we offer distinctive and unique antique and vintage jewellery. Each piece is carefully hand selected by us, for you. We rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone!
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- Unless otherwise stated any antique boxes in our photos are for display only and are not included in purchase. However, do rest assured all items will arrive gift wrapped in a custom Mercy Madge jewellery presentation box.
- Our photographs are taken with a magnified macro lens to show you every tiny detail, flaws are exaggerated and aren't as noticeable to the naked eye, similarly shadows caused by studio lighting can give rise to discoloured areas that don't exist.
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Materials: Whitby Jet, Rolled Gold.