A late 19th century ruby and diamond insect brooch,
Lot 32
A late 19th century ruby and diamond insect brooch,
Sold for £4,750 (US$ 7,998) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A late 19th century ruby and diamond insect brooch, circa 1890
Naturalistically modelled as a grasshopper, pavé-set throughout with rose and old brilliant-cut diamonds and a cabochon ruby eye, mounted in silver and gold, later detachable brooch fitting, length 6.0cm


  • There was great public and academic interest in the natural world throughout the 19th century. By the early 1860s a fashion for novelty insect jewellery began to flourish, reaching its peak in the 1880s and 1890s. Jewellers demonstrated their skill by scientifically replicating insects in precious stones and metal. The brooch offered here is a fine example of the genre. The body is cleverly set with fuller old brilliant-cut diamonds against smaller rose-cut diamonds to highlight the natural contours of the grasshopper's anatomy, rendered accurately in silver and gold. For two similar examples, see Vever, H., translated by Purcell, K., 'French Jewellery of the Nineteenth Century', Thames & Hudson, London, 2001, pp. 628 + 1203, design drawings for grasshopper brooches by Fontenay (1860) and Lalique (1884).
  1. Kristian Spofforth
    Specialist - Jewelry
    101 New Bond Street
    London, W1S 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Work 020 7393 3972
    FaxFax: 020 7393 3905
Similar items