Butterflies were referred to in old and more recent Irish literature as messengers between this world and the other World, probably as a reference to their transformative life cycle. Author Muiris O’Súilleabháin writes about a dream where a butterfly temporarily transports his friend from this realm to the otherworld. Lady Speranza Wilde’s folklore collection also refers to a butterfly transporting a soul to the otherworld. In the Legend, The Wooing of Étaín, Étaín is transformed by a jealous woman into a beautiful purple butterfly. Later, she falls into a drinking cup and is swallowed and in keeping with the ethereal qualities of the butterfly, she is subsequently reborn over a thousand years after her first birth.
This pendant measures 30mm wide by 16mm high. It is made of Sterling silver and is hallmarked in Dublin Castle Ireland