Posted 4 years ago
This is a large (40mm long, about 1.5 inches) late Victorian brooch modeled as a cicada. It probably dates to the 1890's when White Cliffs opal first reached England.
It's silver that's clad with two coloured yellow and rose gold and beautifully engraved. The engraving produces a moire effect on the wings that was very hard to capture, you can kind of see it in the last two pics. It combines nicely with the opals to suggest the natural colours and wing patterns of these big bugs.
The Victorians loved symbolism in their jewellery. The cicada is a symbol of rebirth and immortality, because they survive underground then emerge to soar up to the sky, so this piece was probably intended as a token of eternal love.