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Mouse's House Antiques

BUG Enamel Cicada Bumble Bee Safety Pin French Antique 18k Gold Victorian Figural Fly Pin Brooch for Pendant

BUG Enamel Cicada Bumble Bee Safety Pin French Antique 18k Gold Victorian Figural Fly Pin Brooch for Pendant

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Oh those clever Victorians and their wonderful, whimsical figural jewelry! Thank heavens for them!
Here we have a fabulous safety pin or connector brooch that has an applied insect wonderfully detailed with black, white and yellow enamel. So fun the way it is perched on the bar of the pin.

The Victorians were fascinated with nature and also with jewelry, and we see some wonderful designs come from the period incorporating both of these delights. This one is some sort of winged insect. It looks to me like a bee with the striped body or possibly a cicada.

The figural pieces of the Victorian era often held a symbolism. Bees were used to represent hard work, loyalty, teamwork, and industriousness. And cicadas were considered good luck as well as a symbol of rebirth and renewal. Indeed wearing bugs during the Victorian period was seen as genteel!

This is currently a whimsical brooch but could also be used as a connector on the ends of a chain, or converted to a pendant by your local jeweler. I was able to style it with a chain in photos but it does swivel or teeter some as it doesn't want to lie perfeclty flat on the decollette with the pin back - but hopefully it gives you an idea of how it would look. Chain not included.

The piece is crafted in glowing 18k gold with some rosy highlights. The enamel is lovely. Please note it was overcast here in MN when I photographed it so the color will be even more vibrant in brighter light.

French hallmarks for 18k gold with goldsmith stamp.

Please note the measurements as I have small fingers and it can be difficult to determine scale from pictures. Some of my buyers "draw out" an example to get an idea of scale in person.

Antique Boxes, props, chains, mice : ) not included.


49mm end to end, the bug is 15x5.5mm and about 3.6mm deep. It weighs 2.9g.

A few nicks, scuffs and nibbles to the enamel - there is a spot around the neck at the top that has loss to the black enamel down to the gold underneath. I originally thought it was intentional to the design but studying it under magnification I can see it has flaked away. Otherwise the coloring appears complete as the loss does not reach all the way through to the gold underneath.

Please note that all my pieces are pre-owned and in estate condition. They will have patina, surface wear, a few small nicks. These pieces may also have evidence of a sizing, some build up around the stones and / or inclusions seen under magnification, typical for antique pieces. I have mentioned any noticeable issues above and they are all still wearable and eager to be loved and accepted for many years to come, (the preservation of antique jewelry, even those with signs of their age and history, is important to me. : )
But - Please note due to age, this piece is not in mint condition. Pictures also serve as part of the description and condition report so please utilize the zoom feature which will magnify any wear significantly more than what is visible to the eye while wearing : )

Striking to wear with the figural shape. Due to age, I would avoid getting it wet.

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