A Wonderful c.1870 Shadow Box Framed Entomology Collection


Origin: English
Period: Mid/Late Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
The Case:
Height: 14.25 inches
Width:  16 inches
Depth: 2.5 inches

The glazed oak shadow box with striking ruby red interior and gilt gesso frame, housing a collection of exotic entomology arranged in decorative symmetrical form, containing approximately forty five specimens of butterfly, moth and beetle, survives from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

The three dimensional case is in sound structural order though the gilt gesso frame has losses. It appears to have once been hinged so there are two vacant spaces for hinges on one side. The specimens themselves are in fair order with 80% remaining in tact and pinned, though with the usual amount of loose dust in and around the ensemble. One specimen has lost a wing which is loose in the case.

 The colours remain largely vivid and the examples within the case are hugely varied, some now rare specimens, from large wing-spanned silk moths to rose chafer beetles, with a wide and pleasing range of distinctive colours and patterns. Most of the specimens are not native to Britain. 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.

Positively wreaking of the well healed country house collector.