Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1875 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cut steel

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 15, shelf C, box 6

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.

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.

Place of Origin

France (made)


ca. 1875 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cut steel


Height: 3.4 cm, Width: 6.2 cm

Descriptive line

Cut steel, France, ca.1875

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bury, Shirley, Jewellery 1789-1910: The International Era, Woodbridge, Antique Collectors' Club,1991 Vol. 2, p.695. ISBN 185149104x




Metal-cutting; Polishing


Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.