Normality or chaos?

‘What’s normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.’ A famous line from the Addams family that sums up life in a sentence.

Normality for the spider is to trap the fly in its web and devour it but for the poor fly, being stuck in a spiderweb waiting to be eaten, is pure chaos. Spiders may not be the most appealing creatures but they are very clever and hardworking craftsmen and are often associated with good luck. In Russia, they are thought to bring wealth, good luck and good news to whoever they visit. Perhaps outside your window there may be a spiderweb where a poor innocent is fly trapped, awaiting its fateful end. This is a common sight for us and for hundreds of years, has also been portrayed in jewellery.


The Victorian Era was famous for the use of insect motifs in jewellery however it wasn’t uncommon for females to wear a live beetle in a small cage around their neck or fireflies in their hair. Legend even has it that in 1891, a lady named Mrs DeJones fixed a diamond to the back of a winged beetle and trained it to trace the shape of a necklace around her neck, before finally letting him fly free a number of years later. I just hope he didn’t fly straight into a spiderweb. 

Spiders most commonly appear on bar brooches and lot 329 in the 9 August jewellery sale is no different. The blue gem set spider is portrayed lurking behind the unsuspecting purple gem set fly, a scene we’ve often seen played out on our windowsills.

Whichever way you view it, this charming brooch is set to bring good luck and protection to its new owner and comes with an estimate of £120-180.

Viewing for this and over 150 other items opens at 10am on Wednesday 5 August. 


Click to view the complete jewellery catalogue. >>

Amy Cameron


McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.



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