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This "French jet" or black glass necklace was once part of a set, with a pair of earrings (only one of which survives, 1969.3010.2A) and a tiara (now gone.) The necklace is made from nine linked stars, each with five points. The stars are individually set in a black-enameled metal bezel. Each star is connected to a small faceted oval set in the same manner with a pair of small metal 'o'rings.
enamel (fused coating)
Wealthy Bostonian Frances Bowdoin Bradlee, most likely in mourning for her father, James Bradlee, who died in 1872, is depicted in a photograph wearing this necklace made of black glass. Such glass, produced in France and what is now Czechoslovakia, was often called French jet for its similarity to true jet, the polished black petrified wood from England.
Original to Codman House (Lincoln, Mass.),
Bequest of Dorothy S.F.M. Codman
For more information on jet jewelry and imitations see Bury, Shirley, "Jewellery, 1789-1910" v. 2 (1991): 657-709; Cooper, Diana and Norman Battershill, "Victorian Sentimental Jewellery," (1972): 19-30; Dawes, Ginny Reddington and Corinne Davidov, "Victorian Jewelry: Unexplored Treasures," (1991): 125-130; Fales, Martha Gandy, "Jewelry in America, 1600-1900," (1995): 125-126, 254-256; Phillips, Clare, "Jewels and Jewelry," (2000): 94-95. For more information on the Codman estate see the entire issue of "Old Time New England" 71, no. 258 (1981).
ca. 1875 (appears in ca. 1875 photograph of Frances Bowdoin Bradlee)
Title Earring Accession Number 1969.3010.2A