Noble bee

Exquisite insect brooch with rubies, emeralds, natural pearls & diamonds, circa 1895

Jewellery in animal form is always a cause for joy for us. In the years around the turn of the last century but one, it was insects in particular that delighted jewellery lovers: dragonflies, flies, butterflies, even wasps: hardly an order from the class of Insecta that didn't make it to the lapel or the brim of the hat. Especially in Great Britain people loved this fashion, but also on the continent great pieces were created, which today are coveted collector's items. Each species of insect in jewel form had its own significance: bees or wasps were often used in literature and music as symbols for "dashing wenches", and it is not uncommon for underestimated but clever chambermaids in many an old piece of music to have names based on these animals (e.g. the Vespetta in Telemann's "Pimpinone" of 1725). The brooch, which was created at the end of the 19th century as a luxurious piece of jewellery, is probably also to be thought of in this sense. The brooch made of gold and silver is richly set with precious stones. The body of the bee is formed by a wonderful natural pearl in baroque shape. The wings and the middle of the body of the busy honey gatherer are decorated with sparkling diamond roses and fiery red rubies. Two green emeralds form the eyes of the little animal, which has settled on a staff that also presents a fine natural pearl and rose-cut diamonds. The little greeting from the kingdom of the air with its imaginative trimming still enchants with every new look and is able to set a funny accent. In any case, this piece of insect jewellery is a first-class conversation piece. For dating and fashion, see David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 234.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


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.