Antique three beetle brooch in gold, English, circa 1875. A yellow gold brooch in the form of two staggered horizontal parallel bars set with three iridescent Brazilian Tortoise Leaf beetles graduated from centre and in clawcollet settings, with two ivy leaves between the scarabs each set with a gold bead and wire stem, the reverse mounted with hinged pin and c-clasp.
So-called "novelty" jewellery became popular in the late nineteenth century. Some jewellery of this type reflected a curiosity about the natural world, with examples featuring actual specimen of wildlife, such as colourful beetles, as seen in the present piece, and humming birds. Two jewellers are known to have exhibited such items at the 1872 London Exhibition. A rare survival, a bracelet and a brooch set with the same beetles are in the collection of the Norwich Castle Museum.