Brooch thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Brooch

ca. 1875 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This butterfly brooch is typical of the cut steel goods exported from France to much of Europe and America in the second half of the nineteenth century. The flourishing trade was bolstered by the need for jewellery to wear during periods of secondary mourning (an interim period between full and semi-mourning in the Victorian era) as well as by fashionable status. In London in 1882 it was reported that steel butterflies had begun to perch on bonnets.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cut steel
Brief Description
Cut steel, France, ca.1875
Physical Description
In the form of a butterfly. The wings, with curved tips, are encrusted with small fasceted steel studs with three larger flat topped studs on the upper sections and two on the lower sections. The body is made of a long tapering stud with diagonal fascets at the bottom and oval and circular flat topped studs. A pin runs horizontally across the upper part of the wings.
Dimensions
  • Height: 3.4cm
  • Width: 6.2cm
Summary
This butterfly brooch is typical of the cut steel goods exported from France to much of Europe and America in the second half of the nineteenth century. The flourishing trade was bolstered by the need for jewellery to wear during periods of secondary mourning (an interim period between full and semi-mourning in the Victorian era) as well as by fashionable status. In London in 1882 it was reported that steel butterflies had begun to perch on bonnets.
Bibliographic Reference
Bury, Shirley, Jewellery 1789-1910: The International Era, Woodbridge, Antique Collectors' Club,1991 Vol. 2, p.695. ISBN 185149104x
Collection
Accession Number
M.24-1994

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record createdOctober 31, 2007
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