Põrnikate orkester

“Beetle orchestra,” artist and date unknown, via National Archives of Estonia Commons on flickr.

The pencil and watercolor drawing comes from an album of poetry and fanciful sketches of bugs and birds.  It was found in the 18th century manor house of the Saadjärve estate, which has belonged to several noble Baltic German families over the centuries. The album may be connected to the von Koskulls, who owned the property in the 19th century. There are more examples of the drawings here.

By the way, an Instagram post by @smithsoniangardens reminds us that although “[t]hey may be less elegant than other pollinators, . . . beetles have been providing their pollination services far longer than many of the well-known pollinators. Ancient and abundant in numbers, there are almost four times as many species of beetles as animals with backbones!” (This is Pollinator Week.)

As always, you can click on the image for a little better view.

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