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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Impulse buy

I went to Southport yesterday.

Purely, you understand, for the purpose of taking photographs. With no intention whatsoever of even going inside any shops.

Imagine, then, my horror at finding myself inexorably drawn inside the tiny Osiris Antiques shop, the owners of which had cunningly displayed an irresistible collection of period jewellery in its windows.

It is fortunate that yesterday was pay day, because I was forced to buy this:-

It is both a pendant and a brooch (it even has the original safety chain intact); it is in excellent condition; it is a full 2" in diameter; and it is hallmarked Birmingham, 1923.

I have been purchasing from Neile and Nicole for long enough to recognise the flash of butterfly wing when I see it, but I've never before seen a period piece incorporating it at anything like this size.

Although - with the possible exception of the reflection of the tree in the top right-hand quadrant - I'm rather pleased with this photograph, I must say that the wing is less blue - and more of a lavender colour - in real life. I am hoping one of the aforementioned ladies will be able to identify the species of morpho for me, although I do appreciate that, given the age of the piece, it's possible that particular species no longer exists.

(And, yes, I do realise that any butterfly used in a piece of this age is unlikely to have led a full and happy life, but will have instead been snatched untimely from the forest canopy. But I really don't consider purchasing this piece more than eighty years after said butterfly was ruthlessly hunted down with a big net to constitute tacit approval of the way materials were sourced in those days. It's not as though my money will go to the perpetrator.)

The Editor


Blogger Katie said...


2:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once played in a soul band with the proprietor of Osiris Antiques. Thoroughly decent chap, mildly eccentric and a pretty darned fine guitarist.

Small world isn't it?

Oh yeah! The pendant-brooch dead-butterfly thing.

Not bad!

Would've looked better photographed against a vest though. It's all the rage, dahling!
You could have borrowed mine if you were too modest. The diamond pattern made by the interwoven string, and the random sparkle of entrapped bisuit crumbs, would have looked simply divine!


12:18 am  
Blogger HouseThatCrowBuilt said...

Hi! Love your blog! What a great find. The butterfly in the brooch/ pendant looks like a Morpho Zephyritis just from seeing the white markings on the wing. I am not an expert though and don't claim to be so maybe someone more informed will come along!

2:50 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

You may be right.

Nicole is going to make me a Zephyritis necklace, so I will be able to compare in person once that arrives.

Looking at this list, I think another contender is the Morpho Cypris.

Whatever it is, it has quite incredible flash, even after 85 years.

7:27 am  

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