An enamelled gem-set gold fly, early 17th Century.

The remarkably modern looking fly is set with rubies, opals, sapphires and diamonds in deep collets, and the underside is enamelled naturalistically in royal blue and green, length 6cm, depth 3.7cm.

It is probably English.

The fly came to Burghley as part of an immense bequest from Elizabeth, Countess of Devonshire (1619-1698), to her daughter Anne, Countess of Exeter (1649-1703).

The bequest is recorded in an inventory known as the 1690 Devonshire Schedule, or Deed of Gift, which lists: ‘A Lesser ffly sett with diamonds Rubys Opalls and Catts Eys.’


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