Now Published! British Butterflies - A History in Books

The Entomologist's Library

Sponsor of
UK Butterflies
AuthorVane-Wright, Dick and Harold Hughes
Description2005, 330 pages, 280 x 325 mm, 72 colour plates of remarkable 18th century fine original watercolour paintings of exotic butterflies and moths, together with many other colour illustrations and half-tones and drawings. The collection resided with the descendants of the Seymers, father and son, until recently and thus remained unseen and unstudied. Henry Seymer senior (1714-1785) was clearly the main driving force, later joined by his son, also Henry, between 1772 and father’s death, at which point work apparently stopped. The important feature of these paintings is that they derived from specimens acquired by the Seymers – they were prime representations taken from life. They come from a wide variety of locations, stretching for example from Jamaica to Newfoundland, and present significant new information about the knowledge of world lepidoptera. Access to this collection through purchase has allowed a thorough examination of all the species shown in the paintings, and of the accompanying original legends written by the Seymers. As well as generating new information this has pointed up some remaining mysteries. The paintings themselves are beautiful, on a par with contemporary artists such as Moses Harris, and very well executed; each one illustrating multiple species set against imaginative botanical backgrounds, with an approach to graphic design ahead of its time. In addition to the full-colour reproductions of the 72 paintings, are the results of detailed entomological study of their content, a painstaking review of information collected about the Seymers and how they obtained their specimens, and consideration of the implications thrown up by this important collection. Standard edition bound in green buckram with laminated dustjacket. Now out of print and a rarity.
Stock No.1073

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