18ct yellow gold, orange sapphire and enamel wasp brooch
The embodiment of luxury, this brooch is fashioned from the finest 18ct yellow gold and embellished with orange sapphires. The wings are vitreous enamelled in the plique-à-jour style. Plique-à-jour is a highly specialised enamelling technique and provides vibrant colour to the design. Working like a miniature version of stained-glass, powdered glass is placed in cells and heated, which allows the light to shine through the transparent or translucent enamel.
Dimensions: 32mm wide
This piece was created to celebrate House Style, a 2017 exhibition exploring five centuries of fashion and adornment at Chatsworth and inspired by Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire's own insect jewellery collection, given to her by the 11th Duke of Devonshire. Duchess Deborah's collection included moths, caterpillars, spiders, wasps, dragonflies, beetles, bees, butterflies and even a grasshopper. She would wear the brooches pinned to her shoulder, along necklines or across the front of a velvet waistcoat.
Every piece in this collection is a miniature work of art and is hand-crafted by expert Derbyshire jewellers, C W Sellors.