Spectacular Iridescence : Oversized Art Deco Morpho Butterfly Wing Brooch


The intensity and iridescence of this phenomenal piece is absolutely astonishing. The colour is electric from edge to edge – sweeping from deep cobalt blue to an intense deep violet as the light shifts across the large surface area of the perfect preserved butterfly wing. This is without doubt the finest example of butterfly wing jewellery I have ever seen💙💜 and also the earliest example I have come across.

Yes, a real honest-to-goodness butterfly wing is responsible for the glorious colour inside this eye-catching statement brooch, in this case from the Morpho butterfly from South and Central America. The Morpho butterflies are among the largest in the world, with a wingspan of 7.5 to 20 cm. The irridescence in their wings is caused by the structure of the wings which create colour through diffraction and interference. It’s a fascinating phenomenon (if you’re interested this page has a good explanation).

I can’t help feel that it’s pretty neat that this snippet of butterfly, whose entire life from egg to caterpillar to butterfly is only 115 days should have managed to survive, preserved in silver and crystal, for 80+ years. That’s a pretty good legacy!

The pattern in the wings and the luscious depth of colour remind me of the folds of theatre curtains. Quite fitting for a style of jewel that was fashionable from 1910 – 1960 (although the later examples can be very tacky – this piece is sincerely stylish.)


Era: Art Deco – 1910/1920s

Material: Sterling Silver, Natural Morpho Butterfly Wing, Clear early plastic solid dome.

Size: 36.8mm diameter

Additional information


Art Deco 1910 – 1920


36.8mm diameter, 8mm deep not including the pin
Weighs 15g


Sterling Silver 925, Natural Morpho Butterfly Wing, Clear solid dome of an early plastic.