Antique butterfly brooch with rubies, sapphires & diamonds, around 1890
One of the major jewellery trends of the last third of the 19th century was novelty jewellery. This jewellery used unusual motifs that were intended to astonish the observer. For example, little mice and pigs were allowed to adorn bangles, and golden bird's nests with tiny birds and eggs dangled from earlobes. Objects of everyday use were also elevated to the status of decorative motifs: Earrings were made in the shape of small golden baskets and birds' nests, or in the shape of silver fountains with buckets. Even skulls powered by electricity and tearing open the mouth were worn on the lapel. Among the tamer representatives of novelty jewelry, and thus wearable in high society, were butterflies made of precious materials. In its July 1888 issue, the ladies' journal Bazar recommended jeweled butterflies for the prestigious dinner wardrobe, in combination with diamond earrings, a pearl necklace and matching gem-set bangles (cf. Der Bazar, July 2, 1888, p. 278). The butterflies seemed less daring because they were already known from the jewellery of the early 19th century, the so-called Georgian Era. At that time, they were made with preference from agate or "cut steel". In the late 19th century they came back into fashion in a new form and design. Typical for these butterflies of the late Victorian era are the clear, angular designs with pointed wings, the manufacturing in silver on gold and often a setting of rubies, sapphires and diamonds. The present butterfly, made in the period around 1890, presents itself in exactly this style. It came to us from London and, according to its design, most likely originated in Great Britain. Red rubies, blue sapphires, rose-cut diamonds and three natural pearls adorn its body. In addition to the brooch, there is also an eyelet on the back where a safety chain could once be clipped in. Today, a fine necklace could be threaded through here, so that the butterfly could also be worn as a permanently mounted pendant.
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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.
If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.