Art Deco Butterfly Heart Pendant
The South American Morpho butterfly is captured along the banks of the Rio Negro River in Brazil by the indigenous tribes who lure them into clearings with bright blue decoys of possible mates. The collected wings are then used in ceremonial masks, as the blue butterflies are believed to be spiritual wish-granters.
Wings such as the one contained within this piece have been used in jewelry since the early 1800s and became even more popular during the 1920s and 1930s. The beautiful distinctive iridescent blue color is richly metallic in hue. Interestingly, the scales on a Morpho are not pigmented; when light strikes the wings a vibrant blue color is reflected.
Using the iconic shape of the stylized heart, a traditional sterling silver frame with a reeded perimeter encloses the iridescent wings of the Morpho butterfly. Convex glass captures the beauty in all of it splendor. The original bale is formed into a flower design and attaches to the pendant via a sterling silver “O” ring.
Measurements: 1-5/8 inches (4.2 cm) in length by 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width by 3/16 of an inch (0.5 cm) in depth. This pendant has a weight of 6.3 grams (4.0 dwt).
Condition: Good to very good; all lovely except a small amount of discoloration to edges of the wing on the lower left – although quite visible in our close-up photographs, in person it is less noticeable and appears in some lights as shadow. Light wear to the reverse as expected with age and use.
Date & Origin: Circa 1930 and is English in origin
Overall Scale: Small to Medium
** It is advised not to get butterfly jewelry wet as water can seep under the glass and destroy the bright blue color, turning it a dull purple.