Tag Archives: Ship Memorabilia

QUEEN MARY Butterfly Wing Souvenirs

The photographs above capture a few unusual items of memorabilia from Queen Mary.  From her maiden voyage to the early 60s, souvenirs with exotic, incandescent butterfly wings were used in photos, ashtrays, and jewelry.  As can be seen, these souvenirs have withstood the decades and remained primarily blue but many have faded to brown or, worse, turned to dust and simply discarded.  My collection includes a framed example, a ring still in its case, a brooch, an ashtray, a tieback, and cufflinks. In today’s politically correct society, Cunard White Star would have outraged many by killing butterflies to display their wings as a background for hand-painted vignettes of the ship.  But these souvenirs were quite popular in the middle of the last century and, fortunately, many have remained incredibly preserved, serving as a herald to a bygone era of ocean travel aboard the most successful, popular liner of all time.


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