Calling all Lepidopterists

 

A person who collects and studies butterflies is a lepidopterist. Lepidopterology - also lepidoptery - is the branch of zoology dealing with both butterflies and moths. Lepidopterists capture butterflies, which are then euthanized in jars with chloroform and pinned to a display board that is typically made of foam or cork. The wings of the insects are extended for best viewing of shapes and colors and carefully fastened to the board with long, thin pins, much like needles. The butterflies are then labeled, often with both their scientific names and common names, and the board is placed in a display cabinet to preserve the insects.
While this branch of entomology is entirely legit, there are more cruelty-free ways of appreciating the beauty of these fascinating creatures, made even more poignant by their often too-short lifespan. Case in point: these amazing butterfly pins, which will be on display this coming October.

 

Victorian Butterfly Brooch (left)
from Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry
Crafted in silver over yellow gold, this colorful Victorian butterfly brooch is adorned with beautiful gem-set wings and body. Sapphires, rubies, rose-cut diamonds, and pearls all glisten throughout the openwork piece, topped off with tiny emerald eyes. A delightful nature-inspired jewel, circa 1885, with a 1 3/8 inch wingspan.

Antique Butterfly Brooch (right)
from Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry
Spring is always here with this delightful and very colorful butterfly brooch, hand fabricated, circa 1890, in silver over gold with a glittering array of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and a golden zircon in the center. She boasts a 2 inch wing span and the pin is removable so it can be worn as a pendant necklace. Not unusual, there is one garnet and a few synthetic stones mixed in.

Georgian Agate Butterfly
from Lang Antique & Estate Jewelry
A wonderful antique butterfly pin composed of multi-colored agates in subdued earth tones enhanced with delicate granulation work around the edges. A lepidopterist's dream. 1 1/2 inches across by 1 1/4 inch tall.

Sapphire & Diamond Butterfly Brooch
from 66Mint – Fine Estate Jewelry
18Kt Blackened White Gold Butterfly Brooch with a total of 3.71cts of Earth tone Colored Sapphires and 9 Diamond Accents for a total approximate weight of 0.18cts. Brooch weighs 9.3 grams, and measures 1.5″ wide x .75″ tall.

Circa 1890s, American, Antique Diamond & Enamel Butterfly Brooch
from Lawrence Jeffrey Estate Jewelers
This extraordinary 14k antique diamond and enamel butterfly brooch is a superlative example of American Art Nouveau jewelry. Glowing enamel and bright white diamonds adorn the textured gold wings of this naturalistic pin.