Victorian circa 1870s

A Beautiful Antique Diamond Butterfly Hair Ornament/Brooch

A beautiful Victorian diamond-set butterfly hair ornament/brooch, circa 1870s, of naturalistic design, the body and wings set throughout with old mine, old European and rose cut diamonds set in silver backed with gold in open work form, the eyes highlighted with rubies and the legs and antennae formed in gold, with a detachable single pin brooch fitting to the reverse and a two-pin hair attachment to allow it to be worn in the hair. The diamonds are well matched for quality and are bright and lively. During the 19th century, and in particular the mid-late Victorian era, a love of and fascination with the natural world was widespread. In a period now renowned for its sentimentalism, it is unsurprising that symbolism was rife and meaning was attached to flora and fauna great and small. For the Victorians, the butterfly represented the soul. The metamorphism from unassuming caterpillar to beautiful butterfly symbolised the growth of the human soul and the butterflies’ flight was seen as representative of the flight of the soul from the body upon death. Butterflies were widely depicted in jewellery both at rest and in flight, their beautiful form and colours lending themselves perfectly to decorative jewelled items from brooches and hair ornaments to necklaces and earrings.

Further Details

Gemstones and Other MaterialsOld cut diamonds estimated to weigh a combined total of approximately 3.5cts
2 x ruby cabochon eyes
Condition ReportVery fine
SettingSilver on gold
Weight description12 grams
Dimensions5.5cm / 2.1" wide and 3.5cm / 1.3" tall


1 in stock

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