Beetle wing-case bodice?

William Holman Hunt

Is this beautiful iridescent and scaly bodice covered with beetle wing cases, much as the (newly restored) Ellen Terry gown:

But then look at this painting, The Birthday, also by William Holman Hunt, is the cape made up of feathers and beetle wing cases or just feathers? Hard to say, but the source must surely be the same…


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2 Responses to Beetle wing-case bodice?

  1. This is exciting. When you first posted about the beetle wing possibility, I was struck by how similar the bodice looked to the Ellen Terry beetle wing Macbeth gown. But, now that you’ve posted The Birthday I see how similar those two garments are. (What would you call the one in The Birthday, a stole?)
    I’m wondering of these two garments existed, as the Pre-Raphaelites (especially Rossetti) were known to have used and spent a great deal of time selected garments and jewelry for their paintings.
    Very, very intriguing!

  2. I’m thinking male pheasant backs.. but great question! Love your work on the Luttrell film

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