A 1950’s enamel flower brooch, formed as an orchid, enamelled in vivid colours.
The Cattleya Orchid is one of the most beautiful orchids in the world. They are also known as “Jewels of the jungle” and “Queen of the orchids.” The history of the regal Cattleya, also known as the “Corsage Orchid”, dates back to the early 19th century when William Cattley first successfully grew this orchid in cultivation.
If you’re interested in learning more about the flower itself, visit the website of the American Orchid Society.
The phrase faire cattleya, meaning “to do a cattleya,” is used as a botanical metaphor for amorous fondling in the novel ‘In Search of Lost Time’, by Marcel Proust (1871–1922). Volume I: Swann’s Way included a story of Charles Swann’s love affair with Odette de Crécy.
Link to another cattleya brooch to read part of the novel.