I have long been a fan of the fabulous imagination of Jules Verne and, in particular, his creation the Nautilus. In 1870 his novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was published. In it he described a sea going vessel capable of traveling UNDERWATER. At the time, very few people had seen anything of the underwater world. It must have been a mysterious and wondrous place to the early readers of his novel.
These undersea wonders were an important sub-plot in his novel. He made a point of including a large viewing window in the Nautilus, and describing the amazing things that those aboard it could see from that window. Note that I have made that window an important part of my design.
His story has been re-created in film three times. Each contained a very different take on what the Nautilus actually looked like. I have interpreted it several times. Each of my variations are similar to each other, but with important differences. Interestingly, my interpretations tend to be more like the 1919 silent film version, than the more recent film interpretations. Importantly, underwater motion pictures had just been invented and a large part of the 1919 film was devoted to underwater scenes – reinforcing the importance of the viewing window in the design of the Nautilus.
This brooch is my latest interpretation of Vernes’ submarine. It has three moving parts; the periscope goes up and down & forward to port, the trim tab (the flap in the back) goes up and down and the propeller spins. It is made of pewter and brass with a nickel silver bar pin back and measures just over 3 inches (8.0 cm) in length by 1 3/8 in (3.4 cm) high with the periscope down and about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) deep.
Nautilus brooch shown in its frame (above)
being removed from its frame (below). Notice the black bracket that the pin slides in and out of. Slide the pin in and close the clasp and the piece is mounted in its frame; undo the clasp and slide the pin out and you have removed the brooch from its frame and it is ready to wear.
The bracket is hand made in brass and painted black.