Herald of summer

Victorian butterfly brooch with gemstone trim & pearls, circa 1890

One of the major jewelry trends of the last third of the 19th century was novelty jewelry. This jewelry made use of unusual motifs that were intended to arouse amazement in 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 jewelry motifs: People made earrings in the form of small golden baskets and birds' nests, or in the form of silver fountains with buckets. Not everyone, however, found such jewelry elegant. Among the tamer representatives of novelty jewelry, which could be worn even 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 (see Der Bazar, July 2, 1888, p. 278). Typical of the jewelry butterflies of this period are the clear, angular designs with pointed wings, the manufacturing in silver on gold and often a setting of rubies, sapphires and diamonds. This butterfly, probably made in England around 1890, presents itself in exactly the same way. Red rubies, blue sapphires, rose cut diamonds and four natural pearls occupy its body. The butterfly is worked three-dimensionally and it seems as if it wants to linger only for a short time and immediately start to fly again. More recently, the former brooch with C-hook has been replaced by a modern safety brooch, so that it can be worn carefree.

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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.

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