These earrings feature two rare and collectible antique, Bohemian jet glass buttons.
In 1861, Queen Victoria's husband inadvertently made black glass buttons trendy by dying of typhoid fever. The Queen wore mourning attire for the rest of her life, and as she and her court determined what was fashionable, her signature black buttons became all the rage.
The Queen wore actual jet buttons, made from an organic mineral derived from a pine tree species that lived 180 million years ago. However, authentic jet buttons were prohibitively expensive for most people, so the masses wore more economical jet black glass buttons like these ones.
In this piece:
Two jet glass buttons, made in Bohemia (now Czech Republic) circa 1880-1900
Silver-plated pewter settings cast today in the USA