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

AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST
Jan 21, 1:00 PM CST
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1001 Bid
SUNSET MOTH DISPLAY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Mar 04, 2:00 PM CST
SUNSET MOTH DISPLAY ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST
Jan 20, 1:00 PM CST
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST
Jan 21, 1:00 PM CST
AGATE SLICE BUTTERFLY ON AMETHYST
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
Cymothoe coccinata Encased in Glass Dome With Brown Wooden Base
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Cymothoe coccinata Encased in Glass Dome With Brown Wooden Base
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $200- $300
$1300 Bids
Necyria Duellona Butterfly Encased in Glass Dome With A Wooden Base
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Necyria Duellona Butterfly Encased in Glass Dome With A Wooden Base
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $200
$1000 Bids
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 16, 1:00 PM CST
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 16, 1:00 PM CST
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 16, 1:00 PM CST
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 16, 1:00 PM CST
MIXED STONE BUTTERFLY RING ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$80 Bids
Charaxes pollux Butterfly in Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Charaxes pollux Butterfly in Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $200
$950 Bids
Pair of Alpine Black Swallowtail in Framed Showing Its Spring and Summer Form
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Pair of Alpine Black Swallowtail in Framed Showing Its Spring and Summer Form
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $250- $300
$1700 Bids
Tailed Jay Swallowtail in Baroque Style Frame Case
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Tailed Jay Swallowtail in Baroque Style Frame Case
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $200
$950 Bids
Forest Mother-Of-Pearl Butterfly in Black Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Forest Mother-Of-Pearl Butterfly in Black Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $250- $350
$1500 Bids
Scarlet Mormon White Form in Black Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Scarlet Mormon White Form in Black Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $260- $360
$1600 Bids
The Great Nawab Ventral Side In Black Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
The Great Nawab Ventral Side In Black Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $250- $350
$1500 Bids
Yellow Swordtail Butterfly in Black Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Yellow Swordtail Butterfly in Black Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $150- $200
$1000 Bids
Lacewing Butterfly In Black Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Lacewing Butterfly In Black Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $260- $360
$1600 Bids
Aega Morpho Butterfly in Black Wooden Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Aega Morpho Butterfly in Black Wooden Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $250- $350
$1500 Bids
Trio of Asian Swallowtail Butterflies In A Box Frame
Feb 29, 9:00 PM EST
Trio of Asian Swallowtail Butterflies In A Box Frame
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $300- $350
$2200 Bids
5" x 5" Framed Male Arhopala Araxes From Sulawesi
Mar 11, 9:00 PM EDT
5" x 5" Framed Male Arhopala Araxes From Sulawesi
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $200- $300
$850 Bids
6" x 6" Framed Male Shaded_Blue Leafwing - Prepona Laertes Octavia
Mar 11, 9:00 PM EDT
6" x 6" Framed Male Shaded_Blue Leafwing - Prepona Laertes Octavia
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $300- $350
$1300 Bids
6" x 6" Framed Male Shaded-Blue Leafwing - Prepona Laertes Octavia
Mar 11, 9:00 PM EDT
6" x 6" Framed Male Shaded-Blue Leafwing - Prepona Laertes Octavia
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $350- $450
$1100 Bids
6" x 6" Framed Male Rusty-Tipped Page - Siproeta Epaphus
Mar 11, 9:00 PM EDT
6" x 6" Framed Male Rusty-Tipped Page - Siproeta Epaphus
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $200- $300
$850 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Butterfly Specimen


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Converse Auctions

Converse Auctions

5th Avenue Auctioneers

5th Avenue Auctioneers