Saturday, January 10, 2015
Mothing in the 1830s
I found this rather battered copy of James Duncan's Guide to British Moths and Sphinxes [hawk-moths], published in 1836, in an antiquarian bookshop. The hand-coloured plates are particularly attractive, although some are missing (no death's head hawk-moth, unfortunately). They show the moths in colour against plants drawn in outline in the background. Double-click the images for a larger view.
This is the delightful frontispiece.
Hummingbird hawk-moth and caterpillar,Broad-bordered bee hawk-moth, Narrow-bordered bee hawk-moth
Lime hawk-moth, Privet hawk-moth and caterpillar
Red underwing and Clifden Nonpareil (which has been described as 'the Holy Grail of British Moths')
You can read a digital version of the book by clicking here The plates are all grouped at the end of the book in this version.