Featured Black beaded collar, Victorian?

Discussion in 'Textiles, Needle Arts, Clothing' started by say_it_slowly, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    I'm clearing out what I can from my basement as my winter project. It's a mess!

    I found this in a box and I believe my sister got rid of it during a move. I suspect it may have been a family piece and thought I'd better know what it might be before I try to get her to take it. (Technically she's a half sister and I think it may have been from her side that we don't share).

    I met her grandmother when I was a child before she passed and she was a very robust German lady. I haven't checked but I imagine she'd have been born late 1800s. I've been wondering if it was hers

    It measures approx 24" from fringe end to fringe end (top to bottom of photo) and is beaded though missing a few.

    Here it is and and idea of age or when/how it might have been worn it appreciated. It's been housed in a darling "Dandy Dudes" box for years:).

    These are just quick photos but can do better if needed. Thank you for your help!

    20220126_085931-0.jpg 20220126_090011-0.jpg 20220126_085546.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
    Figtree3, judy, Any Jewelry and 7 others like this.
  2. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    Wow. Gorgeous. I think it is entirely possible it could have belonged to her grandmother. That leaves a rather large time range, though. My first thought was that it could actually pre-date her grandmother, but it’s more likely early 1900’s… I can’t say for sure, even if I saw better pictures (not an expert!) but I recently did a bunch of research on Victorian mourning wear.
    judy and say_it_slowly like this.
  3. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    Folks will probably ask for better pictures, to see the back, if there’s any sign of a hook, clasp, etc., whether all the beads are the same substance (glass? Jet?), are there signs it was once sewn on to something?

    I suspect it would have been worn with the tassels hanging front to back. Could be half or ordinary mourning.
    judy and say_it_slowly like this.
  4. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and taking a look:).

    I see no hooks or any evidence of closures so not sure what would keep it in place.

    I apologize for the bad photos and I hope these are a little better though I could use some practice.






    judy and Any Jewelry like this.
  5. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    Oh, double wow. I am not an expert but I’m definitely thinking this could be jet rather than black glass. Yes, the pictures are better!

    It was also clearly made all of a piece, and isn’t something cut off a dress.

    Hoping an expert comes along so we will really know. Could be worth tagging some jewelry folks.
    judy and say_it_slowly like this.
  6. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    Also, I don’t know if it would just stay in place by itself, but a few stitches in strategic places, or a nice pin would do it.
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  7. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    I did go find info on my sister's grandmother, at least on Ancestry it says she was born 1879. I'd forgotten the my mom's first husband was older than she.
    judy and Any Jewelry like this.
  8. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

  9. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    My feeling from the beginning has been that it was tacked down as an applique & then removed from a dress as being too nice to be discarded & kept as perhaps something that could be added to another one in future. I don't see it as having been a necklace.
    judy, Any Jewelry, kyratango and 2 others like this.
  10. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    I’m pretty much positive it wasn’t a necklace, but am too ignorant to know how to tell what the beads are made of, and I know you know more about that than I do.
    judy, say_it_slowly and Bronwen like this.
  11. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Oh, I agree. Not a necklace. A decorative element as a piece of lace might be.

  12. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

  13. Bronwen

    Bronwen Well-Known Member

    The size & shape of the little beads are so variable that I have to suspect they are actual jet & not 'French jet', i.e., glass. No reason to think the larger beads are not also jet.
  14. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    Agree re actual jet. Beads appear to be slightly more opaque and irregular than glass. The piece is very carefully constructed. And I like the kinetic quality of the design. Meant to move and sparkle in candlelight.

  15. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    Thank you all so much!

    I'll pass the information on to my sister and see if she wants it back as a possible family piece.
  16. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    Thank you! I thought that might be the case when I saw the higher definition pictures, but there’s so much I don’t know.
    judy, say_it_slowly and Bronwen like this.
  17. Born2it

    Born2it Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the information! I’m so grateful for the time folks take to educate those of us who sorely need it.
    judy, say_it_slowly and Bronwen like this.
  18. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I have a few similar pieces myself, and yes, they were sewn on clothing. They would be taken off when a piece of clothing was worn, and sewn on the next.
    Very useful in times of mourning, when it was often forbidden to wear jewellery.
    We get them here in Brabant on 19th century regional costume items, and they are not cheap.

    I must confess, I never tested mine to see if they were jet.:shame: I'll dig them up now.
  19. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    I tested two, from different periods, they are handcut French jet (Bohemian glass).

    19th century collar, it was made to be asymmetrical, but also needs some stitches on the right to bring parts together:

    Detail showing handcut beads:

    Ca 1900-1910 corsage type appliqué, the beads are also handcut:
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
  20. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    They are lovely! Thank you for checking!

    So I'll pass on that mine are jet and not make a guess as to material.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2022
    judy, Bronwen and Any Jewelry like this.
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