Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Graisons Fine Jewellery

Subscribe & Save

Receive $50.00 AUD off your first purchase when you join our VIP Mailing List, preview our latest arrivals and receive exclusive offers!

Superb Antique Australian 15ct Gold Australian Shell Insect Brooch Circa 1880-1890

Sale price$1,650.00 AUD

Laybys welcome! Contact Us today to secure your dream piece.

This intricately designed piece showcases a detailed 15ct gold structure resembling an insect, with Tasmanian Trigonia shells serving as its wings and garnet or paste stones (not tested) for its eyes.

Trigonia shells exhibit a unique iridescence with concentric ridges on their surface. Also referred to as Neotrigonia (Brooch shell), these shells are limited to two species in Tasmania and a few others exclusively found in Australia. While they are occasionally found on sandy beaches, they thrive at depths of 30–60 meters.

During the Archaeological Revival era (19th-century English and Australian jewellers), these shells were a favored material for crafting jewellery due to their naturalistic appearance. Collectors with an interest in entomology will appreciate the subject choice.

This antique piece is in outstanding condition, considering the delicate nature of the shells. The attention to detail is remarkable, with the insect's body featuring lifelike characteristics such as antennae, hind legs, and forelegs, all finished with a distinct 'brush stroke' texture.

Complete with its original safety chain, pin, and C clasp, the item bears Australian hallmarks, including an indistinct maker's mark, '15' indicating 15ct gold, and the 'hanging fleece' symbol representing the M.J.A Victoria guarantee mark for 15ct gold.

This early Australian jewellery piece is exceptionally captivating and highly sought-after, as items of this caliber in such excellent antique condition are rarely presented to the market.

Garnet or paste stones, not tested

3.5cm x 3.5cm

5.35 Grams

Australian hallmarks, makers mark indistinct, ’15’ for 15ct and ‘hanging fleece’ M.J.A of Victoria guarantee mark for 15ct gold

Excellent antique condition. No chips or damage to Trigonia shells. Gold is lovely, a definite aged patina we will not clean! Original safety chain and pin. C clasp is original no repairs. Pin is original - silver - typical for this era. An amazing piece surviving in incredible condition.

Please note boxes are for display only unless otherwise stated.

Get $50 off