Victorian Interest: Diamond Ruby Butterfly Brooch
During the Victorian Era interest in the natural world was at an all-time high. Those with time on their hands began collecting all sorts of items ranging from embalmed scarabs from ancient Egypt to flowers and plants. In addition, novelty motifs in jewelry were much admired and Victorian women were as likely to hang a hummingbirds heads from their ears, as they were to wear a locket.
Butterflies were among the more favored of the insect themes. Here we have a nicely sized example rendered in 15k yellow gold and silver. Realistically constructed, both fore and hind wings are designed with sections set with rose cut diamonds and terminate with either one (1) or three (3) round faceted rubies with very fine deep red coloration set in 15k yellow cartouches.
The thorax is made up of five graduated in size natural half pearls (untested but guaranteed to be natural) in silver. Two tiny ruby eyes in yellow gold give the creature sight as antennae and legs of gold provide movement and a sense of direction. In all, twenty (20) rose cut diamonds and eight (8) round faceted natural rubies (.60 carats) make this little butterfly precious.
Date: Circa 1880.
Measurements: 1-7/16 inches (3.6 cm) in length including bale by 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width. Weight of 8.1 grams (5.2 dwt).
Condition: Very good; later pin applied; a few minute chips to the diamonds and to one ruby eye only visible with powerful magnification.
Note: Diamond weights are approximated by measurement and formula and may vary from actual if removed. All metals are acid tested.
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