Victorian & Edwardian Insect Jewellery


You will see that much of Milly’s Marvels jewellery is inspired by Victorian fashion. During the Victorian era there was a fascination with insects and bugs; the upper class ladies were often seen wth a spider or insect pinned to their breast. There was a huge interest during this period with the natural world and jewellery designs included moths, spiders, wasps and bees all being very fashionable. Insect jewellery would be adorned with a multitude of gemstones to make up the body – including amber, pearls, agate and coral. Bees were the emblem of Prince Victor Bonaparte of France which saw the popularity of winged insects rise on both sides of the Channel. Other popular jewellery items included amulets (objects worn to bring good luck) reverse crystal intaglios, buttons, pin cushions, cameo brooches and pendants.

Archaeological discoveries also had a great influence upon fashion and jewellery. Mid Victorian women were beginning to earn their own money so they could purchase their own luxury items such as jewellery. This meant the jewellery business at this time flourished. This saw a revival of jewellery styles from the Renaissance and Egyptian. The demand for Egyptian designs boomed after the discovery of Tutankhamums tomb in the 1920s.  Egyptian jewellery was a display of wealth and status. Pharoah Heads, sphinxes and mummies all popular designs.

Mourning jewellery also reachd a high peak after the death of Prince Albert. Mourning jewlery is best known for being black jewelry worn to commemorate a loved one. Fashionable black mourning jewellery includes black glass, black enamel and vulcanite mineral stone. Carved cameos, mini portraits, hairwork and silhouettes also examples of sentimental pieces of Victorian fashion jewellery. Pendants were also hugely popular as they could house a cherished photograph or lock of hair of a loved one, we have many such examples for sale at Milly’s Marvels.

Queen Victoria absolutely loved jewellery and had a huge personal collection (some of which can be viewed at the V&A museum in London). Queen Victoria no doubt inspired this popular jewellery trend and was a pioneer for this movement. Here at Milly’s Marvels we too are inspired by this magnificent historical jewellery trend and we have a large range on offer available to purchase.

Victorian & Edwardian Insect Jewellery