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Collecting Carved Jewellery

There is a host of collectible jewellery to be found most of it dating from the Victorian period. If you are looking to collect within this more specialised field first of all you will have to make the decision on whether you may wish to collect say Carved Whitby Jet,Ivory Jewellery,Bogoak carved jewellery or Bone carved Jewellery. Or maybe a mixture of all of these natural materials.

Whitby Jet became very popular during the Victorian period mostly due to Queen Victoria and her mourning for her late husband Prince Albert. Her wearing of Whitby Jet brought about a fashion for this carved jewellery which is lightweight fossilised coal and being black in colour was suitable specially for mourning Jewellery including  brooches,bracelets and even necklaces.In Whitby a cottage industry was formed and employed many local and very skilled carvers of this product.Some formed the Jet into flowers and leaves others used the jet to make brooches from using peoples Christian names look at this example of a whitby jet carved name brooch we which have for sale . form of carved jewellery has become collectable in its own right.

When collecting Ivory carved jewellery items up until the 1947 ban on Ivory means that any jewellery item made before that date is legal.Ivory can come in many forms as well as Elephant Ivory you can find Walrus Ivory.Mainly for jewellery items Elephant ivory was used extensively due to popularity of hunting during the Victorian era.You can find a good selection of ivory carved jewellery but the best quality was made in Dieppe in France.The sheer outstanding carving was mind boggling. With many pieces being cut high into relief. But also with this quality comes price. These are the most expensive Ivory jewellery items coming from this area.You can also find Ivory which has been dyed some in yellow or blue to match a flowers petals especially Daffodils and Gentians.Flowers were used extensively in carved Ivory becoming necklaces bracelets or brooches.Ivory does have a tendency to change colour all depending where it has been stored sometimes turning to a dirty dark yellow. But wonderful antique pieces can still be found in the good off white/cream colour and even if you choose not to wear or purchase this type of jewellery you can still appreciate the craftsmanship of the carving.To clean ivory just a soft cloth should be used if in doubt or if you wish to bring back some colour to an item of ivory jewellery then the best bet is take it to a specialist!

Bone carved jewellery is sometimes hard to tell from Ivory jewellery. Sometimes there will be telltale flecks of brown which will mean the item of jewellery is made from bone as these were were the blood vessels resided.the Victorians on their tours bought bone jewellery on their travels in Switzerland these pieces were made from animal bone usually from cattle. Still very cleverly carved bone jewellery has always been cheaper to puirchase than  Ivory. A plethora of jewellery items can still be found the usual rose carved bone brooches to the intricately carved necklaces with all sorts of designs.Cleaning bone jewellery just a soft cloth of if dusty in the crevices a snall brush. It can spilt if put into water and then dried so keep dry.

Bog oak was a medium which came from the bog oaks of Ireland and was used in many a brooch .These too featured naturalistic designs of flowers or leaves but bog oak was also used for furniture. Tourists the same as today wanting to bring back a souvenir would some times bring back a bog oak carved miniature harp brooch or a  good luck charm .Bog oak should not be put in water and to clean just a soft brush should be used and it does have a tendency to split.

Vulcanite is a form of rubber and can be difficult to tell from Jet as it is lightweight and it can be polished to a light sheen but never will be as shiny as jet. The colour under a loupe can be seen sometimes as brown not black. It changes colour when kept in the light for a long period of time . Sometimes if held to the nose after being rubbed you can sometimes smell a “rubbery ” smell.