Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two snout weevils, two hundred years apart

While writing this blog, I'm discovering things about myself that are a complete surprise to me. I have already written about how I discovered how drawn I am to things that are a little bit bad, not a lot, just enough to make things interesting. The other thing I just noticed is that this bug fascination of mine is not exactly new. I've always liked cicadas for their loudmouth enthusiasm, fireflies because they're just helpless sweet things being carried off to somewhere, and of course, butterflies (who is not entranced by butterflies?). But I don't think I really became aware of my sincere bug interest until I started photographing insects this summer. And I really realized this when I took this picture of a snout weevil after the rain on Saturday. 

Didn't I have something hanging in the living room that sort of looked like this?  Didn't I? I had to go in the house and check.

This hand-colored engraving is from 1796 and depicts a curculio beetle...another name for a sort of snout weevil. I had to have this print because I loved his expression. He looks likes he's in a southern Baptist church waving Hallelujah. 

I've collected a lot of hand-colored prints from dealers on eBay over the years.  There's a range of prices but you can get a very nice print, a hand-colored print, for under 20 bucks that is 200-300 years old. A hand-colored print (that means someone long ago took the time to add color with watercolor paint and sometimes painted gum arabic on areas to make them shiny). If you've never looked at the old prints for sale on eBay, get going. They're fun to own but fun to just look at on-line too.

Here is the other little print I bought from the same collection. She's a shining blue chrysis. Doesn't she look like a little girl princess flying above her own little island? Chrysidid wasps really are that cute.


Country Girl said...

I understand the bug fascination. I am currently having one with mushrooms. It's not good to eat them, however:

But I love this capture of the little beetle! And what great prints. Cool!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love those hand0coloured prints - they are exquisite.

Feisty Crone said...

Wonderful prints!

Maria said...

Thank you everybody and I know, they are pretty neat. :-)