During the 1920’s – 1930’s a particular type of English jewellery was popular.  It was made from sterling silver and enclosed, as its background, the delicate (usually blue) wing of  the Morpho tropical butterfly.  This particular butterfly is to be found in South America.

 

Tropical scenes were painted on the inside of the glass covering the wing and the whole thing sealed to prevent moisture from getting in and discolouring the blue wing.  If you see any of these where the wing has light purple or a rust coloured patch,  that is most likely caused by damp penetrating the brooch.

 

The most popular pieces of Butterfly Wing jewellery produced seems to be brooches, followed by pendants, and rarely, necklaces.

The jewellery became extremely popular following a show called “The British Empire Exhibition” in 1924 in London, England.  The English company of Thomas L. Mott exhibited this type of jewellery widely and interest took off from there.  Mott were previously best known for their enamelled charms.  The painting on the reverse of the glass covering the wing was always done by hand on these early pieces.

Great for collectors these days is that the Thomas Mott company almost always signed the back of their pieces “TLM” and “sterling silver” or “England”.  They rarely used a golden coloured butterfly wing for the background and since these are far rarer, they usually attract a higher price.  You will occasionally see a patent number on the reverse of the piece – this was granted to a different company in earlier years although is sometimes used by Mott.

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