Crypto-Entomology

The Cat's Eye Butterfly 1858
The Cat's Eye Butterfly 1858

- This specimen was discovered in a lion boneyard in darkest Africa by famed exploror Sir Richard Burton.

The Locksmith Beetle
The Locksmith Beetle

- The Locksmith Beetle was most often found living inside doorlocks and broken watches.

The Battlefly Medic
The Battlefly Medic

- The Battlefly Medic was often found tending to the wounds of fallen soldiers in many conflicts worldwide from 1815 to 1865.

The Foglighter Fly
The Foglighter Fly

- The Foglighter Fly was native to the back alley's and riverfronts of London.

The Dragoonfly
The Dragoonfly

- Found on the battlefield of Waterloo, The Dragoonfly was thought to be a self directed weapon. It is unclear for whom it fought.

The Glass Butterfly of Notre-Dame
The Glass Butterfly of Notre-Dame

- Found hiding among the panes of the famous rose window in Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The Society of Crypto-Entomology was founded in 1788 by Hyperion Wells, the grand father of noted author H. G. Wells. The institute was created to study the life cycle and habitant of elusive insects previously thought to be the stuff of myth and legend.

After the first few specimens were found, the leading intellectual lights of the gilded age would meet monthly for lectures in the King's Head Public House in East London. Honorary members and lecturers included  Sir Richard Burton,  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alister Crowley, and even a young Charles Darwin. Many other noted naturalists, mystics, spiritualists, and explorers of the time often frequented these lectures.

As the industrialization of modern society advanced, some insects were found to have a decidedly technological flair. It was uncovered that many were man-made imitations made for wealthy patrons by watchmakers and jewelers. However, in a few rare examples these techno insects actually existed in unusual and rarified habitats.

Much of the debate surrounding these specimens were regarding the origin and purpose of such creatures. Several schools of thought were advanced. Some held that this was spontaneous divine creation. Others felt they were from the future, technology merged with insect biology, that somehow was scattered back through time. Mr. Darwin advanced the theory that these were examples of adaption to environmental forces. The more mystic minded thought they were reflections of the collective unconscious, spontaneously springing forth as man marched forward into the age of invention.

The Society was disbanded in 1925 after the “Cottingley fairy” scandal brought the entire field of Crypto-Entomology into disrepute. Many of the specimens presented here are now thought to be extinct, these prints being the last remaining evidence of their existence.

 

                     

 

The prints are 300 dpi, a much higher resolution then can be displayed on the computer. The image is much crisper and more detailed then the listed picture. It is professionally printed on high quality photo paper.

The 8 x 10 and 11 x 14 sizes are a standard premade frame size. This allows for easily found and inexpensive framing options.

- These prints are from the files of a long defunct gentleman’s scientific organization. I found them in the lining of a steamer trunk that I puchased in an estate sale in Arkham Massachusetts.   - Brian

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