Butterflies

Guest post by Daniel Milford Cottam:

The Natural History Museum, our neighbours across the road, have opened their Sensational Butterflies exhibition – an outdoor attraction packed with live butterflies. As I sit here at my desk, I see the NHM flag flying above the roof, fluttering in a brisk wind, and it struck me that we have our own sensational butterflies here, too, captured in drawings and paintings and prints. They may not be live, breathing specimens, but I think they’re none the less fascinating for that. Plus, it looks like Spring has finally sprung, and what could be more spring-like than a selection of the butterflies found in our stores?

Illuminated letter A from a manuscript, c.1520

Illuminated letter A from a manuscript. South Netherlands, c.1520.

9002B

Le Moyne. Snowdrops with a Lady Butterfly

Nicholas Le Moyne. ‘Snowdrops with a Lady Butterfly’. French, c.1575.

AM3267H-1856

Daphne Mezereum with butterfly

Georg Dionysus Ehret. ‘Daphne Mezereum with Butterfly’. Watercolour. British, c.1760s.

D.599-1886

The Rev. Alexander Dyce. Nine Butterflies. Watercolour. British, c.1850s.

DYCE.978. Bequeathed by Alexander Dyce

Berlin woolwork butterfly

Hertz and Wegener. Design for a Berlin woolwork embroidery. German, c.1860s. Engraving with watercolour.

E.5410-1960.  Given by Mrs. H. G. Paglia.

Richard Doyle. “The Fairy Queen Takes an Airy Drive in a Light Carriage”. British, c.1870. Hand-coloured etching.

E.515:27-1997

Jules Helleu, probably for Charles Frederick Worth. Fancy dress costume. French, mid-1860s. Watercolour and pencil.

E.22058-1957. Given by the House of Worth.

Goodall & Co. Theatre programme. British, c.1890-1910. Chromolithograph.

E.2637-1962. Given by Mr. M. Insley.

Charles Voysey. Design for a textile or wallpaper. London, 1918. Watercolour and pencil.

E.233-1974

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