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Brenda Ginsberg Antiques & Jewelry

Antique Victorian Brooch Butterfly 15ct Gold Diamonds Rubies Lepidoptera (6920)

Antique Victorian Brooch Butterfly 15ct Gold Diamonds Rubies Lepidoptera (6920)

Regular price $7,999.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $7,999.00 USD
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Antique Victorian Butterfly brooch. 15ct gold, diamonds, rubies. Made in London, England, United Kingdom circa 1889. Unisex - suitable for a woman or a man.

Measurements: Weight is 22.0 grams. Distance at widest part is approximately 3 1/8 inches (8cm).

Description : Real glazed butterfly wings mounted in gold. The wings are shimmery silver and gold with patches that flash purple and turquoise, depending on how the light catches them. The body and head of the butterfly are Old round and rose cut diamonds set in silver over gold, as was the custom at that time to show the diamonds off to better advantage. The tips of the antennae are also set with tiny rose-cut diamonds. Eyes are rubies. Rich gold mount curves slightly in realistic way. Original hinged pin with wide c-clasp. Lepidoptera, or butterfly collecting was a huge fad with the Victorians who had a mania for collecting as they discovered the world. We discovered two 'cousins' of this butterfly by the same company and mounted in identical fashion. Please see below. A word on color: The color of butterfly wings changes according to the light. In regular daylight, the color appears as silvery-gold/tan, while in the light box, it appears more purple and blue. I have tried to show a number of pictures across the spectrum of various tonal appearances as caught by the camera with a few pictures taken outside in natural daylight (eg the last picture).

Marks and Metal: There are a number of marks on the gold at the back of the butterfly: Engraved ‘Breveté dans tous les pays’ which means 'patented in all countries' and refers to patent agreements between a number of countries beginning in the 19th century that covered patents between member nations. At their lowest points, both bottom wings have 15 and 625 marks, both of which mean 15ct. The same mark is on the back of the head. A raised, very long, thin navette on the back, between the upper and lower wings has a maker's mark S&C in a rectangle. This mark is repeated on the pin. Also, hallmarks for London ie Leopard head, date letter 'O' in a round lozenge (1899), 625 and 15.

Condition: Condition commensurate with age: Negligible wear to gold; gems are typical of the period - round, somewhat assymetric rose cuts; butterfly wings are in good shape for their age with a few tiny specks of dirt/wood that has probably lain there for over 100 years. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer. We found two butterflies with identical marks - one with ruby eyes and one with sapphire eyes. One sold at Sothebys in 2006 with high estimate of $9500.00 (see pictures); One at a well-known New York jewelry establishment with a price of $13500.00 Please see 'photo of Sothebys description.

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