The use of plant and animal motifs in jewelry designs is an ancient historic theme, prevalent since the time of ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and used during the various jewelry periods in history, reaching its climax during the Art Nouveau period at the turn of the 20th century between 1890 to 1905, and continued to prevail well into the 20th century, with modern jewelry designers like Jean Schlumberger, Paulding Farnham and others elevating the art to sophisticated and refined levels, receiving international acclamation. At every public auction conducted by the leading auction houses such as Christie's and Sotheby's such jewelry pieces incorporating plant and animal motifs, had featured and performed impressively. Creating a thread to bring together such impressive pieces following the success of the Kashmir sapphire, Ceylon sapphire, and Alexandrite threads, occurred to me as a regular participant in updating the successful threads.
Lot 169 at Christie's Jewels at South Kensington Sale held on April 7, 2009 was a - Diamond, Emerald And Ruby Butterfly Brooch - from the late 19th-century Art Nouveau period. The butterfly designed with yellow gold was bezel set with a pear-shaped emerald on the thorax, three cushion-shaped old brilliant-cut diamonds on the abdomen, and two circular-cut rubies on the head, representing the eyes. The end of the yellow-gold antennae are set with small pear-shaped rubies. The wings of the butterfly are set with 3 or 4 rows of circular or cushion-shaped old brilliant-cut diamonds, and the edges of the wings are set with a single row of circular-cut rubies. The overall appearance of the setting looks like a natural butterfly, a living testimony to the perfection this art of jewelry designing had achieved during the Art Nouveau period. The lot sold above the pre-sale estimate of US$5,222 - $6,714 for US$19,320.