Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
Height: 29.25”
Width: 28.25”
Depth: 16”

The beautifully crafted lepidopterist’s collecting cabinet, with an oak and mahogany carcass of superb colour to a pair of lockable glazed doors, opening to reveal twenty-four air tight numbered and glazed drawers each with boxwood and ebony parquetry stringing and with brass ring pull handles, the lift out drawers housing a total of three-hundred-and-forty-four specimens of butterflies, some being annotated, the cabinet surviving from the high Victorian period.

The cabinet is in good overall condition, the draws gliding beautifully, the ring handles all present. Around 10% of the specimens have some damage, most of it light, please refer to the comprehensive photographs for a full visual reference, with some normal movement deposits. We are replacing the glass pane to the front which is cracked so this will be rectified upon sale. We are also adding glass to the three drawers which are lacking so these will also be glazed upon sale. There are some losses to the stringing and other light wear which can be rectified at cost if so desired. There is a fragment of an old paper depository label to the reverse.

The specimens that are annotated mainly in the 1970s include many from high mountainous regions at 3000ft for example and other regions such as Kaxamega Forest and Bhutan.

Lepidoptery, the branch of science dedicated to the study of butterflies and moths, has its own legendary figures, and its history is both long and glorious. The examples within this particular case have a pleasing variation with a wide range of distinctive colours and patterns with a rather monochrome theme. The specimens are mainly native to South America and some to Britain and range from six inch to one inch in wingspan.

Not only does this chest contain a wonderful array of impressive, rare and colourful specimens, it represents an exquisite work of craftsmanship in its own right, unparalleled today, making this an irresistible combination of dedicated collecting and flawless cabinet making.