[Click the picture
above, to view this item]
Above is a "Match Safe", made from
was very prevalent during the Victorian era, especially during the period of
“Mourning Jewelry”. In Paris in 1842 while experimenting with many substances
for the “new rubber making process”, a new substance was discovered that
originated from the sap of a Malayan tree known as (Isonandra Gutta). With its
gum-elastic properties, it was the source for this new substance called
gutta-percha. Also it was the first natural plastic known
to mankind, causing a revolution in its application, during this “new age of
Artisans became wild about this new discovery and utilized it in many
crafts, from furniture making, dentistry (for fillings), to jewelry and
their accompanying items. Shortly after with the death of Prince Albert in 1861,
“Mourning Jewelry” became the rage, and gutta-percha was an ideal
substance in this “age of black”, since in its finished state its color was
black to brownish black and ideal for this new rage
called “Mourning Jewelry”, where black reflected the mood of
England and the world as they mourned the death of Prince Albert.
Lockets, pendants, brooches and bracelets were the most common jewelry items
that utilized Gutta-percha.
Two simple test that you can perform to verify that an item is
Rub the item on a piece of white paper. It should
leave a "brownish gray-black colored line".
2) With a cloth, quickly rub the item on
the cloth, the friction will create heat. Now quickly bring the cloth and item
up to your nose, you should spell the distinctive odor of burning rubber.
is Mourning Jewelry]
[Return to Previous