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Butterfly Specimen

With connotations ranging from good luck to reincarnation alongside their breathtaking coloring, butterflies have been incorporated into artistic decoration and cultural iconography for millennia. The practice of collecting butterfly specimens, however, is much a more recent trend that was launched as part of an overall fascination with natural history during the Victorian age.

Over the course of the 19th century, European audiences experienced a growing fascination with natural history. Enthusiasts began amassing collections of various specimens, including butterflies. Cherished for both their ethereal nature and their brilliant colors, butterflies became the focal point of many specimen collections. Some collectors augmented the wings of their butterflies with hand-painted elements to accentuate their luminous glisten.

The delicacy and dynamic color-changing characteristics of the butterfly served as ongoing inspiration for designs in other art fields, particularly during the Art Nouveau era. Preserved specimens from the past continue to draw the attention of collectors, as they reflect the immense variety in species, some of which are now extinct.


Quick Facts

  • The ancient Egyptians frequently incorporated representations of butterflies in their wall paintings, but it was more for their beauty than for their symbolic significance
  • The "Ornithoptera alexandrea," also known as Queen Alexandra's Birdwing, is the world's largest, and also one of the rarest, butterflies. Its wingspan can be more than 9 inches across
  • "Butterfly World," the world's largest butterfly park, is located in Coconut Creek, Florida and features more than 5,000 live specimens

Recommended Items at Auction

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Modern Butterfly Sling Hardoy Style Leather Chair
Nov 10, 2:00 PM EST
Modern Butterfly Sling Hardoy Style Leather Chair
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$752 Bids
Vintage Rosenthal Germany Porcelain Butterfly
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Rosenthal Germany Porcelain Butterfly
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
Vintage Asian Lacquer Designer Butterfly Box
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Vintage Asian Lacquer Designer Butterfly Box
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
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Group of Vintage Butterfly Wall Hangings
Oct 23, 11:00 AM PDT
Group of Vintage Butterfly Wall Hangings
by Wealthier Art & Auction
Est: $30- $50
$50 Bids
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Oct 21, 1:00 PM CDT
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$240 Bids
BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY DISPLAY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Oct 21, 1:00 PM CDT
BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY DISPLAY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids
1914 Butterfly Babies Lithograph, American Copper
Nov 13, 2:00 PM EST
1914 Butterfly Babies Lithograph, American Copper
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $40- $80
$200 Bids
1914 Butterfly Babies Lithograph, Buckeye
Nov 13, 2:00 PM EST
1914 Butterfly Babies Lithograph, Buckeye
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $40- $80
$200 Bids
A BLUE AND WHITE BUTTERFLIES VASE YUHUCHUNPING
Oct 21, 8:00 PM EDT
A BLUE AND WHITE BUTTERFLIES VASE YUHUCHUNPING
by Ingenuity Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
Pair Vintage Butterfly Chairs W/ Original Canvas Seats
Oct 31, 10:00 AM PDT
Pair Vintage Butterfly Chairs W/ Original Canvas Seats
by Hughes Auctions
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids
BrainRoy (né en 1980) Sculpture Butterfly VS Murakami Finition verre acrylique Encadrement en caiss
Oct 24, 2:30 PM CEST
BrainRoy (né en 1980) Sculpture Butterfly VS Murakami Finition verre acrylique Encadrement en caiss
by Lux Auction
Est: €800- €1,900
€6000 Bids
SPECTACULAR MIXED BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Oct 23, 1:00 PM CDT
SPECTACULAR MIXED BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$850 Bids
Pair of Butterfly Chairs With Green Canvas Seats.
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
Pair of Butterfly Chairs With Green Canvas Seats.
by Casco Bay Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Large Sue Nagel Painting ' Butterflies'
Oct 24, 11:00 AM AEDT
Large Sue Nagel Painting ' Butterflies'
by Kim's Auction
Est: AUD800- AUD1,500
AUD3500 Bids
2020 Allen & Ginter Chrome Buggin Out lot
Nov 07, 7:00 PM EDT
2020 Allen & Ginter Chrome Buggin Out lot
by Gem-Mint Auctions, LLC.
Est: $50- $200
$50 Bids
A CHINESE PAINTING OF FLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES
Oct 31, 8:00 PM EDT
A CHINESE PAINTING OF FLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES
by NC Auctioneer Inc.
Est: $600- $800
$2000 Bids
Painting : Flowers ,Bees and Butterflies by Wang Xuetao
Nov 02, 9:00 AM EDT
Painting : Flowers ,Bees and Butterflies by Wang Xuetao
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $2,500- $4,000
$3000 Bids
Fan Painting: Butterflies by Liao Jiahui
Nov 02, 9:00 AM EDT
Fan Painting: Butterflies by Liao Jiahui
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $2,200- $4,000
$3000 Bids
Handscroll Painting :Butterflies by Miao Jiahui
Nov 02, 9:00 AM EDT
Handscroll Painting :Butterflies by Miao Jiahui
by Yakon Auctions
Est: $4,000- $7,500
$5000 Bids
BROOCH/PIN LOT BUTTERFLY CAR & MORE
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
BROOCH/PIN LOT BUTTERFLY CAR & MORE
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $10- $35
$50 Bids
BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Oct 22, 1:00 PM CDT
BLUE MORPHO BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids
19th century school Flowers and butterfly Oil on copper, 21x21 cm. Framed (slight defects)...
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
19th century school Flowers and butterfly Oil on copper, 21x21 cm. Framed (slight defects)...
by Il Ponte Auction House
Est: €750- €800
€7000 Bids
Cherry Red Hand Painted Butterfly Snuff Bottle
Nov 02, 6:00 PM EDT
Cherry Red Hand Painted Butterfly Snuff Bottle
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $100- $150
$700 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Butterfly Specimen


Easterly Auction Company

Easterly Auction Company

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Yakon Auctions

Yakon Auctions