An imposing Victorian butterfly brooch of exceptional quality and grand dimensions, the fore- and hindwings studded with 112 rose cut diamonds set in silver-topped 18K gold and bordered with 66 oval cabochon rubies set in gold. The thorax is formed of a round opal and the abdomen is a large squarish cabochon pink tourmaline. The design is completed with diamond antennae and emerald eyes. The opal has excellent fire with a good deal of orange and green in the flashes of light. The rubies outlining the wings have medium-light color and are well-matched to the large tourmaline forming the butterfly’s abdomen. The back of the brooch shows masterful <i>à jour</i> work with well-finished piercing to allow light through the stones. The back also retains the original gold pinstem and c-clasp that can be removed with a gold screw assembly. The brooch most likely originally had a comb attachment so the butterfly could be worn in the hair. The brooch is stamped with French gold hallmarks.
• Origin: France, ca. 1875
• Condition: excellent
• Dimensions: 2” x 2-7/8”
• Weight: 27.2 grams
• Approximate Total Gemstone Weight (by estimation and formula): diamond, 2.39 carats; ruby, 14.26 carats; tourmaline, 6.87 carats; opal, .97 carats
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