This weekend I went to stay with an aunt in Belfast. We don’t visit her often enough and quite frankly we should. Not only is her company fab but her house is like an Aladdin’s Cave of fascinating artifacts.
My favourite were these beetles which I found in my bathroom. As you all know we love a bug or two so they were rather appropriate don’t you think??
This morning I spied a dead beetle.
I was sad to see that it was dead but it made me think about that AA Milne poem and also reminded me about the initial stages of setting up Warbeck & Cox and a trip that involved other dead beetles, inspired furious sketching and the creation of our most popular design.
Ten years ago or so, I found myself with the task of entertaining a young cousin and was told to take him to Tring Zooililogical Museum (now part of the Natural History Museum). A firm favourite as a child I was not convinced that well over a decade later I would feel quite the same way about this venue. How wrong I was.
On opening that first drawer and rediscovering the rows and rows of little creatures pinned and labelled so neatly, I was hooked. So hooked infact that I had to shoot off to the gift shop and buy a sketch pad and get scribbling.
Fascinated by the delicate, intricate shapes, patterns and irridescent colours I had to get drawing ….which is exactly what I did.
Beetle to buffalo and alligator to zebra, the collection has it all. Thankfully for us, the Rothschild family decided to give the entire collection to the nation in 1937 and here are just a few of the amazing treasures I discovered.
Interestingly, Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild’s fascination and subsequent gargantuan collection began as a small boy when he discovered a dead beetle – a present he promptly gave it to his nanny!
Funny what comes about from finding a beetle isn’t it?