This is a collection of pochoir prints of antique butterflies from Emile-Allain Séguy’s book “Papillons”, published in 1925.
Emile-Allain Séguy (1877-1951) was a French decorative artist. He was well known for his Art Nouveau and Art Deco-style illustrations of the natural world, mainly insects.
Like many other Art Nouveau designers of his time, such as Maurice Pillard Verneuil and William Morris, his ornamental patterns were intended for use by textile and wallpaper designers.
Séguy was commissioned by the American textile manufacturer F. Schumacher and Co to produce this book of antique butterfly prints. He called the book Papillons, the French word for butterflies.
The book comprises 81 pochoir prints of antique butterflies arranged in 16 compositions. There were four other decorative plates of patterns inspired by the butterfly wing patterns.
Even though the butterflies in the book were illustrated for design purposes, they were based on scientific study. In the introduction, Séguy emphasises that pochoir prints are accurate illustrations of actual tropical butterflies, not fantasy interpretations.
For each plate, he includes the scientific name for every antique butterfly and their country of origin.
What Are Pochoir Prints
Pochoir prints are made by an old and obsolete method of colour stencilling. It was a labour-intensive method of stencilling popular in France in the 1920s. It was particularly popular with the Art Deco and Art Nouveau art movements.
With the pochoir technique, every different colour in a design has a separate stencil. The layers of paint (usually gouache) are applied through each stencil by hand with a sponge. The technique was good at providing accurate colour representation with each print.
As printing technology progressed and became more mechanised, pochoir prints fell out of favour as their manual production was prohibitively expensive.
How To Download The Butterfly Pochoir Prints
Click on the title above the Seguy print that you want to download. A higher resolution antique butterfly print will open as a new window on your browser. Click on that image, and you will have the option to save the image to your hard drive.
The butterfly illustration can then either be printed at home or sent to an online print shop for a high quality print.
As well as decorative prints for home decor, these beautiful illustrations would be a great resource for crafting, like making this DIY butterfly specimen art. Either to use as decoupage, scrapbooking or with another paper crafting.
1. Papillon Plate 1
Five different butterflies on this plate discribed as follows:
- Papilio philoxenus – INDIA
- Rides priamus-poseidon – N, GUINEA
- Id. below
- Heliconius antiochus – AMAZONE
- Catagramma mionina – COLOMBIA
2. Paillon Plate 2
- Arraandia lidderdali – SIKKIM
- Caîasticta teutiia – MEXICO
- Morpho achilîaena – BRAZIL
- Délias castaneus -N GUINEA
- Dasyophthalma cruca – BRAZIL
3. Paillon Plate 3
- Gynaecia dirce – AMAZON
- Dione moneta – PERU
- Biblia antavara – MADAGASCAR
- Ageronia feronia – BRAZIL
- Mechanitis doryssus – VENEZUELA
4. Paillon Plate 4
- Heîicopis acis – GUYANA
- Mesosemia crcesus – GUYANA
- Hypna clytemnestra – BRAZIL
- Stichophtalma camadeva – INDIA
- Laxita tanita – BORNEO
5. Paillon Plate 5
- Smyrna bîomfildia – MEXICO
- Papilio policenes – GUINEA
- Coiœnis dido – BRAZIL
- Cyresîis elegans – MADAGASCAR
- Tithorea bonplandi – COLOMBIA
6. Paillon Plate 6
SIKKIM is a state in northeastern India.
- Amesis sanguiflua – INDIA
- Id. Below
- Teinopalpus imperiaîis – SIKKIM
- Id. Below
- Cethosia bibîis – INDIA
7. Paillon Plate 7
- Chrysiridia ripheus – MADAGASCAR
- Id. Above
- Urania leilus – GUYANA
- Panacea proîa zaraja – VENEZUELA
- Id. Above
8. Paillon Plate 8
- Eribœa athamas – INDIA
- Adelpha melanippe – VENEZUELA
- Adelpha bredowi – North America
- Papilio krishna – HIMALAYA
- Hypolimnas misippus – CONGO
9. Paillon Plate 9
TONKIN, is an exonym referring to the northern region of Vietnam.
- Papilio demoleus – TONKIN
- Id. – above
- Cethosia cyane – SIKKIM
- Papilio sarpedon – TONKIN
- Cyrestis thyodamas – INDO MALAYSIA
10. Paillon Plate 10
- Eupiœa rhadamanthus – INDIA
- Cold brookeana – BORNEO
- Erasmia pulchella -SIKKIM
- Papilio antiphates – INDIA
- Pyrameis myrinna ECUADOR
11. Paillon Plate 11
- Callicore marchali – COLOMBIA
- Papilio pylades – CONGO
- Papilio zalmoxis – CONGO
- Hestia lynceus – MALAYSIA
- Stalachtis phlegetonia – BRAZIL
12. Paillon Plate 12
- Delias neagra -NEW GUINEA
- Catagramma kolyma – AMAZON
- Dichorragia nesimachus – SIKKIM
- Elymnias Malelas – INDIA
- Eulepis eudamippus – INDO MALAYSIA
13. Paillon Plate 13
CELEBES also known as Sulawesi is one of the four Greater Sunda Islands. It is governed by Indonesia.
- Charaxes zingha – CONGO
- Papilio blumei – CELEBES
- Argynnis chiîdrenae- CHINA
- Papilio tyndereus – CONGO
- Charaxes cognatus – CELEBES
14. Paillon Plate 14
- Arachnis dilecta -MEXICO
- Hypsa borbonica – CONGO
- Hypsa dominia – CHINA
- Cerace stipatana -CHINA
- Callimorpha hera – EUROPE
- Callimorpha equitalis – CHINA
15. Paillon Plate 15
- Délias harpaîyce – AUSTRALIA
- Morpho deidamia – GUYANA
- Anteros bracteata – GUYANA
- Opoptera aorsa – -BRAZIL
- Zeonia amazon – PERU
16. Paillon Plate 16
BATJAN are a group of islands in the Moluccas in Indonesia.
- Lyropterix apoilonia – COLOMBIA
- Id. Above
- Prothce Calydonia – MALACCA
- Papilio ulysses-telegonus – BATJAN
- Id. Above
17. Antique Butterflies Wing Patterns 1
18. Antique Butterflies Wing Patterns 2
19. Antique Butterflies Wing Patterns 3
20. Antique Butterflies Wing Patterns 4
Seguy also published a similar book on art nouveau instect prints.
Don’t forget to check out the other natural history prints on Pictureboxblue, including these vintage butterfly images.
(Some of these butterfly images were used for the DIY tea light lanterns craft)
There are many more Art Nouveau inspired prints on the site too, in the Art and Design collection, such as the Alphonse Mucha posters. For other nature form art, check out the amazing prints of Ernst Haeckel.
Saturday 7th of January 2023
Wow, these are stunning prints; what a talented Artist was Emile Alain Seguy!!! Thank-You so much for sharing these, and for the others exquisite antique/vintage prints You provide! (Your site is now My favourite!!!)
Tuesday 10th of January 2023
Aww, thank you that's lovely to hear. Yes his prints are gorgeous.
Friday 14th of January 2022
I just had to take a moment to say, THANKY YOU SO VERY MUCH! Yes, I am shouting for joy. What you have provided here is a treasure trove of beautiful images. You have done all the work and made this not only easy to acquire and use but free. Free? Who does that nowadays? Only a person with a giving heart, a heart of gold. I have no words to say how much I appreciate your generosity. All I an say is that I wish your kindness is returned to you a thousandfold --- in the form of much good health and prosperity. Thank you. Take care, be well.
Monday 17th of January 2022
You're very welcome. I just love vintage images and want to share them with everyone as I think they deserve to be seen.
Rosemarie J Watz
Friday 17th of September 2021
Just found your site. Amazing, no other words and free? You are an incredibly generous and open-hearted person to invest so much of yourself for people you don't even know. Thank you so so much. Rose.
Saturday 18th of September 2021
Thank you so much, I just love finding wonderful old images and love to share them so everyone can enjoy them.
Saturday 28th of August 2021
I always love receiving these posts from you. Thank you.
Monday 30th of August 2021
Thank you, Rebecca, I'm pleased you enjoyed them.
Sunday 22nd of August 2021
Thank you so much for the beautiful prints!
Sunday 22nd of August 2021
Aren't they just gorgeous, I'm glad you like them.