Showing posts from September, 2011

Vintage Gallery #9 The Steampunk Costumes

I must admit I do love a bit of Steampunk. 
These phantasmagorical costumes were photographed at The Asylum festival in my hometown of Lincoln (UK) this September. Alas, I did not take the image so do not know the names of the people, but anyone out there does please get in touch. I'd like to give credit where credit is due. 

If you're not sure what Steampunk is, I am tempted to say Google is your friend. But in this case I'll say the library is your friend, specifically the shelves holding these works:

Jules Verne - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
H G Wellls - The Time Machine
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Mervyn Peake - Titus Alone
Philip Pullman - The Dark Materials Trilogy

If you already love the look, you might want to see an original piece of steampunk fashion in my other post The Steampunk Victorian Wedding Dress.

And speaking of giving credit, the photo was taken by the lovely Stacey Clarke!

The Whitby Jet Bangle... or is it?

Look at this! Isn't it gorgeous? My great grandmother, Elsie May, left this bracelet in her button box, in pieces. My mother inherited the box, picked out the pieces and threaded them on knicker elastic to make the lovely whole you see here. It fits snug on your wrist for an authentic dash of Victorian Gothic Whitby Jetness. Just the thing when you're evoking Mina Harker.

Elsie was a young woman in the 1900s, so I think it's safe to say her bangle is late Victorian. But is it real Whitby Jet? If it is, it would be worth a small fortune.

I've researched a lot, I've found a lot. What follows are the highlights of that research and my take on...

How to Identify Whitby Jet 

 "Like Whitby Jet But Not" comes in many forms: modern plastic, glass (known as French Jet), bog oak, coal, Bakelite, horn or Vulcanite, from the planet Vulcan. OK I made that last bit up, but the Vulcanite is real, an early plastic that turns a sepia colour with age, it was branded with the…