A Glorious Late 19thC Shadow Box Framed Entomology Collection


Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1880-1900
The Case:
Height: 18.5 inches
Width: 18.5 inches
Depth: 3.5 inches

The oak shadow box with amber interior and gilt gesso ornate frame, housing a collection of exotic butterflies containing approximately over one hundred and twenty specimens of butterfly, moth and beetle, survives form the late nineteenth century.

The three dimensional case is in sound structural order though the gilt gesso frame has losses. The specimens themselves are in super order with 95% remaining in tact and pinned, though with the usual amount of loose dust in and around the ensemble. The colours remain vivid and verso there is an old hand written label of presumably the first owner of the collection a Ms Charlotte ?? Smith??. There is also some handwritten charcoal script, which is almost completely illegible; we can only make out ‘James’ amongst the other words.

The examples within the case are hugely varied, from a huge eight-inch wing-spanned specimen to tiny pupae and exotic beetle, with a wide range of distinctive colours and patterns. Most of the specimens are not native to Britain.

A hugely decorative and wonderfully well-assembled slice of Victorian natural history preservation.