Another highly unusual piece, this brooch is extremely oversized and has a motif combination I have never seen before!
Likely dating from the latter half of the 19th century (it is so unusual I haven't been able to pinpoint it to a more exact date), it appears to have either been repaired or made by someone other than a professional jeweler, judging by the more primitive design of the clasp on the back.
The two motifs here are both very Victorian, but like I mentioned before, I haven't ever seen them together. The shepherd's crook or staff is somewhat rare in jewelry, but it usually is meant to symbolize protection, as taken from the biblical symbolism of the Good Shepherd.
Insect jewelry in general was very popular with Victorians and different insects held a variety of different hidden meanings. Flies seem to potentially represent a few different ideas. There is the obvious "memento mori," or reminder that humans are mortal beings. This would fit in with the shepherd's crook, in my opinion. A reminder that all men must die, but that there is comfort in the ultimate protection from the Good Shepherd.
Other potential meanings for fly symbolism are secrets (think, "a fly on the wall") and humility. What do you think this brooch means?
The brooch is constructed in gilt brass and silver tone metal.
Boxes are not included with this listing. Listing is for the brooch only.
+++ Measurements +++
5" x 1 1/2"
+++ Condition +++
Lovely condition overall with minor age-related wear and patina.
+++ Please read +++
This item is not new, and as such, it has wear commensurate with age. As with all older vintage and antique items, please handle with care.
All items are sold as-is, and I do my best to point out all condition issues and provide a detailed description and photographs.
Unless specified, items have not been cleaned.
I do not accept returns or offer refunds. Please see all photos, read the entire description, and ask any questions before purchasing.