Jet Costume Jewelry

Jet necklace

Jet bijou or black bijouterie is one of the phenomena of the jewelry production.

The history of the jet jewelry goes back thousands years ago. The jet was called “black amber” by Romans and Babylonians and was thought having recovery abilities from epilepsy, for example. After the Romans the monks began to make jet rosary and crosses. The most beautiful jewelry from the jet was found near Whitby, England.

In the middle of the 19th century thanks to the exhibition in London and new modern trends the jet jewelry became famous worldwide. From those times the jet became the accessory not only of the high society (in 1861 after the prince Albert’s – the queen Victoria’s husband – death the jet became the official mourning jewelry) but also of the rich petty bourgeois. 

Jet brooch

Jet brooch

The real jet was very expensive and it led to the production of different imitations. Because of its popularity in the 19th century the jet was copied from glass in England and France. It was just a question of time when the “black fashion” in the whole Europe would reach Jizerské Hory, Czech Republic. To the end of the 19th century the glass imitations of the jet reached even an American market.

At the beginning the shapes of these imitations were very ordinary. There were common glass brooches, hairpins, pins and buttons. In 1877 the firm “Gerbrüder Feix” (Czech Republic) under the trade mark “Riveted jet” began to rivet glass stones on the metal base. It helped to enlarge the quantity of patterns.

In the 80ths of the 19th century the specified type of the Jablonec black costume jewelry appeared. Johann Fischer was the first producer of the soldered black costume jewelry. From those times up to the 20th years of the 20th century because of the time changes and the world crisis the production of the black costume jewelry nearly disappeared. There was a slight attempt of rebirth after the World War II, but it lasted only for 3 years. After that this production perished.

In 1964 the Jablonec Museum of glass and bijou began to make designed jet jewelry from old materials from the storehouses of the previously famous firm of Feix brothers in attempt to rebirth this forgotten production.

Glass fire-polished beads - Black Rivoli

Glass fire-polished beads in the form Rivoli are perfect for making the black costume jewelry.

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One Response to “Jet Costume Jewelry”

  1. buttons pins says:

    Great posting. Thanks for useful information.