An original vintage Shipton & Co. butterfly wing brooch, depicting the Athlone Castle, a British cruise ship launched by Princess Alice (wife of the Earl of Athlone) in 1936.
Shipton & Co. of England applied for the patents 202212 & 202213 to use Morpho butterfly wings in jewellery in 1922. After being shown at the Great Exhibition of 1924 the jewellery became very fashionable and this brooch would have been available for purchase at the souvenir shop on board the Athlone Castle.
An interesting side note - in 1939, a few short years after her maiden voyage, the ship was requisitioned for war transport and went on to carry over 140,000 troops during the course of the second world war.
The brooch is set in sterling silver with the scene protected by an acrylic glass cover and it measures 1-1/8" by 1" (30x25mm). It is stamped 'MADE IN ENGLAND, STERLING SILVER' and PT 202213' on the back. It has a secure pin back with a t-hinge and c-clasp and weighs 3.4 grams.
Condition is excellent with the scene completely intact and still vibrantly coloured with an incredible iridescence. In real life it is much brighter than it is on the photos and the lettering is clearly distinct, even with over exposure the camera has very much toned down the vibrancy.
Imagine being lucky enough to be aboard this wonderful ship and buying this to remind yourself of such an exciting adventure! Highly collectible, a wonderful vintage souvenir brooch from a sought after maker of this extinct art form.