An Early 20thC Painted Pine Lepidopterist's Chest


Origin: English
Period: Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900, the specimens collected c.1910-1980
H: 11.8 inches
W: 13 inches
D: 7.8 inches

A painted pine chest of four drawers, having knob handles and a skirt base; each drawer white  lined with a sliding glass lid, in which are stored a total of 71 actual specimens of moths and butterflies.

Examples include various whites, including the Orange Tip, Brimstone, Bath White, and Cabbage White; numerous tortoiseshells and admirals, including the Peacock, Red Admiral, White Admiral, Painted Lady, and the Map Butterfly. Also contained in this treasure trove of butterflies and moths are several fritillaries, coppers, and of course, the Death's Head Hawkmoth, made famous when it featured on the Silence of the Lambs film poster.Not only does this chest contain a wonderful array of impressive and colourful specimens, some of them have a tiny accompanying label, detailing the date and place the specimen was found.

The collection was compiled over several generations and by various people, the earliest label is dated 1916, the latest 1986, and some of the labels bear the name of the finder. Places the butterflies were found include Dorset, Sussex, Hampshire, St Albans, and as far as Britanny and Scotland.