Monday, 8 August 2011


Collection of the Royal Museum of Central Africa, Belgium

A display that reminds me of those Victorian naturalist who collected everything. Once fluttering around now these insects remain forever preserved. I have conflicting feelings about this;  one is that they should be left where they were, the other fascination with their variety and that I can see them displayed. 

The postcard was produced for the first series of exhibitions on the RMCA's unique collection. There are both butterflies and moths on the card.  The RMCA was founded in 1898, the collections cover both cultural and natural science from central Africa. The first butterflies and moths were sent to the entomology department in 1900 from the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. The collection has now expanded to include west and east Africa and there are 240,000 butterflies and 230,000 moths, a marvellous scientific resource. The few lepidoptera on this card pale into comparison with that number, I can imagine pulling out drawer upon drawer to see the infinite variety.  The collections are so vast that only 5% are on display at one time.

The card came with
a stamp from the 2007 'Beneficial Insects' series, this one the Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens) and then the 2011 'Baby Animals' stamp of some fluffy Canada Geese.  My sender, Denise, also decorated the card with a beautiful chickadee stamp which I posted for Sunday Stamps yesterday.

Thank you Denise for a plethora of beautiful wings.

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