Art Deco Iridescent Cicada Brooch
Marvellous antique glass bug brooch dating from the Art Deco period, circa 1920. Likely made in France, it's beautifully detailed with an iridescent wings, red thorax and black head. Offered in the original presentation box: F. W. Rampton, Jeweller, Etc. Hailsham.
Cicada. A few thoughts on these sap-guzzling hempitera. The name is onomatopeic, directly from the Latin cicada. The bugs are known for their incredibly loud song, produced in most species by the rapid buckling and unbuckling of drum-like tymbals. Since the time of Homer's Iliad, cicadas have featured often in literature around the world, and they've been a motif in the decorative arts since the Chinese Shang dynasty (1766–1122 BCE). They have also, since Classical antiquity, been associated with nonchalance, casual indifference, and a carefree mentality (think of the cicada in one of Aesop's fables: while an ant spends the summer gathering and storing food for the winter, the cicada's having a ball singing it's little tymbals out... then, when winter finally arrives, nothing to eat). Both adults and nymphs were part of the ancient Greek diet, and they're still a delicacy in certain parts of China to this day. Per foodnetwork.com, “Cicadas have a nutty flavor and shrimp-like quality. They can be cooked like you would cook seafood. You can sauté them or deep fry them. Recipes that can be found using cicadas include soups, cupcakes and cocktails.” Yum?
Era: Art Deco, c.1920
Size: 5.3cm by 2.4cm
Marks: None, fittings and pin are base metal
Condition: Good antique condition. A couple of small chips around the bottom edges, gold paint/colouration is partially rubbed from the base
Full appraisal document provided with each item
This includes a valuation for insurance purposes, item specifics, date, and origins (where applicable)
Gemstones are tested by an accredited gemmologist (Cert GA, Gemmological Association of Great Britain)
Express shipping is free of charge and carbon offset
Tracked and insured with signature on delivery
UPS Express (International)
RM Special Delivery (UK domestic)
Buying a Gift?
Leave a note at checkout and we'll include a handwritten note to the recipient. Just tell us what you'd like to say
Ring sizing is available on most rings
£35 flat fee
Resizing takes 7-14 days
Leave a note at checkout with your desired size
Note: sizing may remove some of the patina (although we take every care to reduce this where possible)
A 25% deposit will be taken to secure the item. The remaining balance will be settled in 90 days. You can pay installments weekly, monthly, or the full balance at the end - whatever works.
We offer detailed and accurate condition reports on each listing. These pieces are antique, vintage, or pre-loved, often over 100 years old so they're going to have lived a life. A healthy patina and the odd scuff/scrape are quite normal... it's part of their charm! Everything we present has been checked over by our jeweller and should be good for wear for many years to come (unless otherwise stated) but please remember to treat them with appropriate care and consideration for their age.
Get in touch... There's a live chat at the bottom right of each page.