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Victorian Gutta Percha Mourning brooch

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    Posted 6 years ago

    Elisabethan
    (282 items)

    First: I need your advice on this brooch, what type and era is this brooch?
    Is it a mourning brooch or something else? It is surpricingly light, it only weighs 15 grams and the size is 5 cm x 4,5 cm. It seems to be one carved piece mounted on a base. It has a brass nedle and c-clasp. It somewhat feels like plastic and at the same time not, much lighter, can´t figure it out. Thanks for advice. Any ideas and thoughts are weolcome. Thanks!

    Sorry I have´nt cleaned it yet, want to know what material it might be first.

    Later: It seams to be gutta perka, and a mourning brooch.

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    Comments

    1. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Hi Elisabethan! Is there any redish translucency in the reliefs if you put a light on the side?
      I was thinking turtle shell, as it is very light.
      This is a wonderful carving, hunting thema, not mourning in my opinion!
      Black or dark was fashion at this time :-)
      If turtle shell, a lightly greased cloth rub after cleaning will moisture and prevent crackles...
    2. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Thanks Kyratango! I'll try it tomorrow when I am home :)! Nice to hear that you also like the carving. Hunting theam might be what it is. The trees look a bit exotic to me.
    3. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Thanks for love everyone!
    4. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      Very nice Elisabethan :)...I thinking a mourning brooch as well. Since you say it feels like plastic it might be vulcanite also known as jet or ebonite. It does have a distinctive smell when heated since it's rubber. You can check by running it against your sleeve. The friction will warm it up and give off an odor if it is. The pair of birds might suggest a lost love. Victorian's loved symbolism. Here's a bit of info:

      Definition: A type of vulcanized rubber, formed by combining sulphur and India rubber, then heating the mixture for several hours; Charles Goodyear is credited with developing the process, which he patented in 1844. Vulcanite can be white or of various colors, but is most commonly dark brown or black. As a result, in the mid and late-19th century, the hard substance was often used to imitate coral, tortoiseshell and jet - especially the latter, as dark pieces became more popular, especially with the prevalence of mourning jewelry.
    5. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Hum, Mike, I don't think pheasants have any love or mourning symbolism.
      Vulcanite is the possibility if not translucent to light on side of the raised parts.
    6. mikelv85 mikelv85, 6 years ago
      but they're staring into each others eyes.... look how in love they are Kyra....lol
    7. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Yep, qwaark qwaaark! (pheasant love song!)
    8. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Could be bog oak too:
      http://www.morninggloryjewelry.com/mgc2/collectVictBog.htm
    9. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Sorry for late respons, The other lite came inbetween. Tjankyou so much for your ideas :). I've done the tests and it is not translusent. Under hot water it smells like....yes, rubber. So nothing fancy I'm afraid. I'm not sure If this is a mourning brooch or not, you bouth have great ideas om this. Thanks again. I'll have to think some more before I can mark this as solved, can't make up my mind.
    10. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      So, carved vulcanite! These are collected :-)
    11. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 6 years ago
      I don't see size-Can it be a gent's tie tack or scarf ornament, men did a lot of flamboyant things back around 1900 to adorn their neckpieces??--also the band of their hats, riding horse decoration on headgear (there may have been a pair.).. Very nice!
    12. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Yeah!!! We got a new expert ;-))
    13. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 6 years ago
      I am surprised at the attitde here. Make a newbie feel welcome??? For 25 years I have been the Editor of a Collector's Publication--I have credentials and could have been of help to many. I had no idea that I was to be an unwelcome intruder!
    14. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      PostCardCollector you are welcome here, I asked for ideas. Thankyou for your thoughts on this. I think it is a brooch from the beginning as well. The size is 5x4,5 cm.
    15. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Thanks for love ho2cultcha, kathrinescollection, aghcollect, vetraio50, Mikelv85, surfdubb66, Trey, Rick55, Valentino97 and Kyratango!
    16. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Sorry Elizabethan for the bad behaviour I showed :-/
      I'm always surprised by folks who even not read description before...
    17. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 6 years ago
      Don't feel bad "oldandsilly", I am on here with only vision in one eye. I hope you are respected and treated nicely. Most people I deal with are really nice on sites like this. But now and again..... Hey! I don't even know what bog oak is! And I'm Irish! Ha Ha. Do we have that in the USA?
    18. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 6 years ago
      Am I into history!! The joy of my life. When you are into antiques, and collectibles--the history and reasearch just comes with it.
      So the bog is dried up. Great that it preserves! Sort of like our tar pits. Seems quite a "useful" tree. Some may have passed my hands on the last 77 years, but I would not recognized it , I guess.... Thanks for the info. Lois
    19. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Kyratango I know :) but this time I only gave the size in cm. I probably should have written it in inches as well.

      The other day I saw a similar brooch (not the same carving) that said carved bog oak on a vulcanite base... I realized I only did the warm water test on the base. Probably should test some more on the actual carving.
    20. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Thankyou roycroftbooksfromme1!
    21. Agram.m Agram.m, 6 years ago
      Some more comment: Bog Oak has to be carved so you are going to see tool marks on any jewelry that’s made from bog oak.
    22. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      AAAhh, you tested only the back of the brooch for rubber smelling...
      All is clear now! Carved (obvious marks) bog oak scene (as said in my comment #8), fixed on a vulcanite base!
      How strange a Dutch and a French collectors knew bog oak jewellery, ant not an Irish. Ô..ô Ooops, I'm bad again ;-D


    23. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Found this on the net, so if it is correct my brooch would be gutta perka even if it is carved. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/167196204889671495/. It also would mean it is a mourning brooch.
    24. kyratango kyratango, 6 years ago
      Oohh, it is the same carving!
      Is the carved part and the back in one piece?
      All that was black in this time was not necessary individual mourning!
      Queen Victoria was in mourning since Albert death, so all fashion was about black jewellery.

    25. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Hello Kyratango! No I think is two parts. I see, it might have been worn just as black jewelry not mourning and it could also be mourning. I don't think we will find 100 % certainty unfortunately. Anyway I think it's quite cool With black jewelry, but I still don't know when to wear this brooch and With what type of clothes :). Thanks for your thoughts Kyratango, I'm grateful.
    26. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Thanks Sean! Sorry for late answer. I´m not on CW very often I´m afraid.
    27. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      Peasejean55 thanks!
    28. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 6 years ago
      Your very welcome Elisabethan, it's alway nice to see you.
    29. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      That's so sweet of you peasejean! ????
    30. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 6 years ago
      No question marks should be there, I wrote a heartsymbol :)
    31. inky inky, 6 years ago
      Oh!.. I do like this, it's wonderful!...:-)

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