18K Gold, Beetle Carapace, and Enamel Necklace

late 19th century; the flower and leaf motif-link necklace suspending nine drops of iridescent beetle carapace backed in gold; the flower links with light blue enamel; the leaf links with black enamel; completed with an engraved box clasp; 22.14 dwts.; lg. 15 in.

  • Provenance: Provenance: By descent within a Bedford, New York family.

    The Victorian era saw a fascination with the natural world - particularly entomology. Insects - living, dead, and replicated - found their way into the jewelry and fashions of the day. This necklace is an example of the incorporation of real beetle carapaces into fine jewelry.
  • Condition: one beetle shell cracked (furthest left); significant enamel loss throughout to flowers, leaves, and clasp; central beetle measures approx. 15 x 12 mm.

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June 14, 2020 11:00 AM EDT

Boston, MA, US

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