What a clever locket! Photo panels stay hidden in wings that pop out with the push of a tiny button. This rare pin was created for the Presidential election of 1896, when the issue of currency was hotly debated. It was gold vs silver, William McKinley vs William Jennings Bryan. Wing panels of this bug would have originally held photos of McKinley and his running mate Hobart, whose supporters were known as “goldbugs.” (They won.) The wings now sit empty, waiting for a modern re-interpretation of this piece.
Pressed metal, 1890s. Approximate measurements: 1.25" long, .5" across body.
There actually is a goldbug in nature. The Golden Tortoise Beetle, Charidotella bicolor (Fabricius) is a ladybug-sized insect found throughout North America. Their color changes from reddish brown to a metallic golden shimmer. Exactly how that happens is not entirely understood, but it's likely caused by fluid changes in response to stress.
Feather & Foxglove donates a portion of profits to environmental conservation and animal welfare organizations.