I have noticed from time to time, that some collectors hang their specimens in glass cases or riker mounts on their wall. I am not talking a few for decoration but their entire collection. I know a certain chap in Italy that does this and he has some rarities. I believe these collectors like big showy bugs and so do I in certain instances . Do some of those collectors realize how much light will affect their specimens. Well take a look at this museum case on display in the Oxford museum. I know, they will say their specimens are not in direct sunlight and the rooms quite dark. I myself like a room with as much sunlight as possible. It is certainly up to the individual where he keep his specimens. However, I believe that in any room there will be some sunlight and certainly electric light and in time, this will affect the colours on most specimens.
Unfortunately, in our hobby there is a plethora of "aesthetic collectors". They seem to feel the need to display all their hard won specimens under the glass of an otherwise cheap- ass cardboard fiber-filled cracker box. And, while I agree that it is their prerogative to do whatever they wish with their material; it is truely sad to see quality rarities treated like all the other common fodder. It is simply un-professional as a TRUE hobbyist. It may be the sort of thing that you do when you are in grade school and still learning the caveats of the hobby. However, a true lifelong enthusiast constantly strives to be better than they were at an earlier stage in life. True collectors who have had a lifelong passion STRIVE to grow in both knowledge and expertise as the years go by. It is because of these professional (oftentimes) self-taught collectors that we have such wonderful scientifically rich collections to gaze upon and learn from to this day ! All those aesthetic collections or frames have long faded out or been turned to dust as soon as interest wanes. So there's my "sermon on the mount" for today.
I'm not sure my wife would put up with my collecting "bugs" if I didn't have a bunch on "pretty things" on the wall. Honestly, I do agree with her though... Why collect butterflies, if not to enjoy their beauty (as well as gain knowledge of nature and how it works)? On Wednesday I visited Robert Ducarme's home, and he has a number of boxes up on the walls containing what many would consider "rarities." These boxes contain a slice of the butterfly fauna found in the surrounding forest and act as a wonderful educational tool for visitors of his home... they sure inspired me anyways.
It's sad to now realize that Robert is not only stuck in grade school, but also not a "TRUE hobbyist" and utterly unprofessional. Oh well, I'm just going to go back to studying Libert's revision on Ornipholidotos that Mr. Ducarme lent me (and which contains at least 2 species named after him and his wife, as well as a number of others of which he collected the type specimens).
I have seen museum specimens on display in Wroclaw and Toronto and to my surprise there are windows in the showrooms. The specimens look more like those on the picture from Peters previous post. I have recently read about UV rays emitting by artificial light. The recent study shows that LED light are not emitting UV or very little. I believe useing of low UV lights should be safe in dark showrooms where insects are on display. I believe also that most collectors will always use cabinets as the more economical space use and more have no dark room to spare for collection . I myself have few drawers on the wall with no sunlight and I will shop for LED bulbs to replace fluorescent once. Also I have bought from Bioquip in the past shred resistant and UV protection drawers which are cost more but safer for specimens. Although I don't like the sizes they have . I preferred Europe standards. Perhaps there are uv films on market which could be applied on the regular glass.
I agree with Tom If you have beautiful butterflies or other insects you want to enjoy them everyday not only when you have time to dig into a drawers. I had in my basement separate room with no windows and have many drawers on the walls and all friends enjoyed them when visiting. However I also agree that care and protection should apply for collected material to maintain it as long as possible.
I can't say that I appreciate my thoughts being twisted in a negative manner. As mentioned above, it's an owners prerogative to store and display their material how they wish. But, the fact is that if you display your stuff (be it your entire collection or just a few frames) where it is exposed to light (direct or indirect) it WILL fade or in time fall to pests. If a hobbyist chooses to display their most elegant or hard won material rather than a few common fodder (easily replaced) species than so be it. Their just frivolously wasting away their unique catches or spent monies. Drawers along with other (tight fitting well made) boxes such as Schmitt or other European makes afford proper long term protection. And what is so hard about looking through drawers or boxes to view your beloved specimens? If you identify what is in it than it should take no real time to see it or show it to others. I personally have to stack my insect drawers on top of one another 9 high to a stack with 3 stacks per 6 ft.table. I have 93 drawers. And I have to do this until I afford cabinets. But, at least my stuff is well marked, safe, and every bit as beautiful as the day it was collected. I have'nt had a "Rikered" or otherwise framed specimen since I was 12. That was then and I moved past that thinking to a higher level. I think it's just an innate desire or need for some people to display (for all to see) treasures they have acquired. Be it tribal masks, weapons, art, strange curiosities, or zoological specimens. But in doing so they risk light damage, pest damage, and envious desire of anyone who knows its there.
Unfortunately, in our hobby there is a plethora of "aesthetic collectors". cheap- ass cardboard fiber-filled cracker box quality rarities treated like all the other common fodder. It is simply un-professional as a TRUE hobbyist. It may be the sort of thing that you do when you are in grade school
First of all, the negativity in those comments is apparent. No twisting needed.
Secondly, I don't believe I twisted any of your thoughts at all, though perhaps I misunderstood your "sermon" (or at least who it was targeted against). Without a doubt, my work colleagues and neighbours would have far far far less respect or understanding of this hobby if I didn't have nice specimens displayed around the house. It's incredible, the number of times I've had people exclaim "Oh! That's what you're doing with those butterflies!" This has invariably led into conversations about peoples' own observations of the behaviour leps, of butterfly migratory habits, of childhood memories, on scientific study, on conservation, biodiversity, etc. etc. etc.
Regardless, the point I'm hoping to make is that there is a case for hanging specimens on the walls. Mr. Ducarme conveniently provides an excellent example of why hanging specimens in plain view can be encouraged (another situation is of course educational displays in museums).
Lastly, I think we all need to be careful that we don't dictate to people how they should or should not enjoy their hobby. If I'm being honest, I don't understand why people collect butterflies they themselves did not personally catch. For me it's all about the adventure, the experience, the observations, the newly gained knowledge, etc. But, I'm not going to criticize people who build their collections through e-bay purchases, I'm certain they derive satisfaction and enjoyment from what they collect. Is that enjoyment/satisfaction any less than what I experience? Honestly, probably not. Otherwise, I don't think they would bother. So, I guess what I'm driving at, is that if someone decides to spend, say, $100 on a specimen so that they can look at it and enjoy it's aesthetic each and everyday (even while knowing that it'll fade overtime), that is by no means less of a pursuit than that of someone who buys the same specimen and stores it in drawer, only to look at it on the rare occasion, but ensuring that it will endure and stand as a record for many many years, and thus finding satisfaction and enjoyment in his "record-keeping." Both are in the hobby for relatively the same reasons, so we really shouldn't judge and condemn one or the other.
In the spirit of open, honest, and amicable discussion, Tom
I suppose there are different levels of appreciation and enjoyment within any hobby. If what your doing brings you happiness, enrichment to your life, contentment etc. than I suppose that is all that really matters. Whether your hard won treasures last a lifetime and beyond is up to you the individual. Surely, some people don't find that important.
I guess quite a few insect collectors might hang a few specimens on their wall for decoration. Their main collection being kept where it is better protected. I guess even if you want to hang rarities up there, it is up to the individual. This was really a warning of what light can achieve, however, museums are usually very bright. Museum displays of insects are very important because they educate people about the world of bugs and I do not suppose their special specimens end up there.
I don't see any harm in having cases on display for yourself or other people to see as long as the specimens are self caught or cheap, but to hang cases on the wall with rare or expensive material in them to me is pure madness, some prize specimens cost a lot of money, some are irreplaceable, mine don't get anywhere near light unless I am working with them, apart from that they never see light, from the sun or from a bulb.