Antique Russian Imperial gemstone insect brooch ∙ 1900s Art Nouveau Russian fine insect jewelry queen flying ant

Incredible turn-of-the-century Russian insect brooch, studded with over eight carats of gemstones. The brooch is 14K gold and silver, depicting a Virgin Queen flying ant, winged for her "nuptial flight." The Queen sheds her wings as soon as she lands after mating to start a colony, so this special form - and winged beauty - is short-lived.

The brooch is large, barely fitting in the palm of my hand, at a boastful 2" x 2 5/8". The antenna are elbowed and tipped with diamonds. The legs are incredibly articulated and even hand engraved with little hatch-mark "hairs." The head has openwork "eyebrows" and round sapphire cabochons. The thorax is a 3 carat amethyst, the abdomen a fiery, 3.2 carat natural opal. Remarkable gems and range of color across the brooch.

And yet the best is yet to come: the wings. A long pair on the top and shorter, smaller pair below. The wings are intricately, symmetrically pierced - creating compartments that recall the arrangement of a stained glass window. Pierced and studded with over 100 rose cut diamonds and left with negative space, as well. A shimmering, remarkable imitation of nature.

Excellent condition. No stones missing. Hallmarked on the pin. Tube clasp.

Note: Additional photograph available upon request, as well as video.

Measurements: 2" x 2 5/8", 19.6 grams total weight

Gemstone details:
∙ 15 x 11mm oval opal cabochon, 3.2 carats
∙ 11mm round amethyst cabochon, 3 carats
∙ (2) 4mm round sapphire cabochons, .40 carat each
∙ (128) rose cut diamonds, approx. 1.90 carats (conservative)

Era: 1898-1908
Markings: 56 (for zolotniks, converts to 14K), left-facing woman's face with traditional kokoshnik.

Materials: Opal,Silver,Gold

Only 1 available
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