Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Butterfly Specimen Collection In Shadowbox
Dec 10, 10:00 AM MST
Butterfly Specimen Collection In Shadowbox
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $200- $300
$454 Bids
GOLD FLOWER BUTTERFLY DISPLAY VINTAGE
Dec 13, 1:00 PM CST
GOLD FLOWER BUTTERFLY DISPLAY VINTAGE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
STONE BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
STONE BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids
STONE BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
STONE BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
STONE BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
STONE BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Framed Brazilian Mounted Butterflies
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Framed Brazilian Mounted Butterflies
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
AN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST BUTTERFLY DISPLAY
Dec 08, 2:00 PM GMT
AN ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST BUTTERFLY DISPLAY
by Curated Auctions
Est: £150- £250
£1500 Bids
A MINT MORPHO (MORPHO CATENARIUS) BUTTERFLY IN BLACK WALL FRAME
Dec 08, 2:00 PM GMT
A MINT MORPHO (MORPHO CATENARIUS) BUTTERFLY IN BLACK WALL FRAME
by Curated Auctions
Est: £40- £60
£400 Bids
A BUTTERFLY DISPLAY DOME WITH MORPHO DIEDAMIA
Dec 08, 2:00 PM GMT
A BUTTERFLY DISPLAY DOME WITH MORPHO DIEDAMIA
by Curated Auctions
Est: £350- £450
£3200 Bids
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 18, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 18, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$240 Bids
FRAMED BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Dec 21, 1:00 PM CST
FRAMED BUTTERFLY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 22, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids
FRAMED BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY
Dec 22, 1:00 PM CST
FRAMED BUTTERFLY TAXIDERMY
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$300 Bids
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
Dec 06, 1:00 PM CST
BUTTERFLY IN DISPLAY CASE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$350 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Butterfly Specimen


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Curated Auctions

Curated Auctions

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal

EJ'S Auction & Appraisal