Gold brooch in the form of a butterfly. The wings are in heavy filigree work, the upper wings overlapping the lower wings. The filigree executed in flattened twisted wire within a plain ribbon wire frame. The patterns within the long tongues that form the wings alternate between a series of scrolls and parallel decreasing ovals. The body formed of a solid piece of gold, the upper part decorated with applied grains surrounded by a coil of twisted wire, the lower part engraved with geometric ornament. The eyes formed of two applied grains, the short pair of antennae formed of a wire with a grain at the tip, the long antennae formed of a thick strip of wire that curls back over the upper wings.
- mid 19thC - late 19thC
- Width: 4.1 centimetres
Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no 406:
The weighty construction of this piece suggests an English manufacture. Examples of filigree jewellery of the 1860s and 1870s are illustrated in Flower 1951 (figs 17 and 56).
Information supplementary to Hull Grundy catalogue:
For similar 19th century work, see the silver-gilt filgree necklace in the V&A, M. 968-1928, described as made in Italy or Malta, and a gold filigree brooch from Malta dated 1858: 1451-1873. However, Jane Perry has suggested that this is more likely to be from Italy or possibly Dalmatia, as the work is heavier that that typically found in Malta.
19 April 1994
Reason for treatment
1983 Greasy anddirty RAR 1991 no treatment required PMM
1983 Cleaned with Detarol EDTA 10% in water. Washed with tap water. Dried with tissue. RAR
Prehistory and Europe
- HG.194 (masterlist number)
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: MCT1308
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.