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Silver & Black Opal Butterfly Brooch Attributed to Rhoda Wager

328H
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An unusual butterfly brooch with an overlapping leaf design in its wings, possibly made by Rhoda Wager (1875-1953). Its main body is set with an oval black opal.

Wager was born in London and brought up in Bristol, then she studied drawing and painting at the School of Art, Glasgow (1897-1903). She exhibited metalwork and jewellery at the Glasgow Art Club in 1901 and at Cork, Ireland, next year. From 1903 she was a member of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists and showed regularly with them. Returning to Bristol, Miss Wager taught art at St Mary’s Girls’ School. She spent her holidays making jewellery under Bernard Cuzner, a talented silversmith who had designed Liberty & Co. Ltd’s ‘Cymric’ jewellery in 1899.

Late in 1913 Rhoda went to live on her brother’s sugar plantation in Fiji. Settling in Sydney in 1918, she resumed jewellery-making.

A member of the Society of Arts and Crafts of New South Wales, Rhoda Wager later joined the Melbourne and Brisbane societies, showing annually at their exhibitions. She retired in 1946.

A review of her hand-wrought jewellery at the Dunster Galleries, Adelaide, in 1925, stated that her ‘work is wrought from beginning to end. Each flower, stem and leaf or berry is made separately and soldered on bit by bit. Her work provides a link with the English Arts and Crafts Movement, and with jewellery designers like Cuzner and Sybil Dunlop.

Written by Olly Gerrish

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Date & Origin

Condition

Very Good

Provenance

Australian

Materials

Silver Opal

Hallmarks

Unmarked, tested to silver

Measurements

Height 1⅜ in / 3.5 cm
Width 1 ¾ in / 4.4 cm

Item Number

328H

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4.9 Out of 329 Reviews