E. J. Detmold: Fabre’s Book of Insects

Categories: Nature & Natural History
Written By: John

This edition from 1921 is the first American edition, I believe. The plates are identical or very similar to the originals. The image titles and quotes are verbatim from the tissue guards. (The quotations are themselves text excerpts.)

It is sometimes hard to determine how extensively to edit my images. The toning and loss of color over decades or centuries will almost always have some effect, but in many cases this actually looks very nice and is what some people either want or expect. Depending on your tastes and the use you have for the image, the aged affect is often preferable. Nevertheless, I have often removed to age toning and brightened the colors, as the cleaner image is a lot fresher, often more useful for certain applications, and will in a lot of cases actually be closer to what the artist intended. I will not pretend to know what Detmold intended, let alone what the color was like at the time of printing, but I here offer  the images in both forms.  The whiter, brighter images are very nice, even if not accurate restorations.

The Gallery has links to all the plates, both edited and as scanned.   The images below link to the individual image pages where they are available for download in various sizes for free.

Title: Fabre’s Book of Insects: Retold from Alexander Teixeira De Mattos’ Translation of Fabre’s ‘Souvenirs Entomologiques'”
Author: Mrs. Rodolp Stawell
Artist: E. J. (Edward Julius) Detmold
Publisher: Dodd, Mead and Company
Date Published: 1921

Click on an image to go directly to that page in the Gallery.

THE SACRED BEETLE

THE SACRED BEETLE "Sometimes the Scarab seems to enter into a partnership with a friend."

Sometimes the Scarab seems to enter into a partnership with a friend.

"Sometimes the Scarab seems to enter into a partnership with a friend."

THE CICADA

THE CICADA

In July, when most of the insects in my sunny country are parched with thirst, the cicada remains perfectly cheerful.

"In July, when most of the insects in my sunny country are parched with thirst, the cicada remains perfectly cheerful."

THE PRAYING MANTIS

THE PRAYING MANTIS

A long time ago, in the days of ancient Greece, this insect was named Mantis, or Prophet.

"A long time ago, in the days of ancient Greece, this insect was named Mantis, or Prophet."

THE PELOPAEUS SPIRIFEX

THE PELOPAEUS SPIRIFEX

When finished the work is amber-yellow, and rather reminds one of the outer skin of an onion.

"When finished the work is amber-yellow, and rather reminds one of the outer skin of an onion."

THE PSYCHES

THE PSYCHES

This is the secret of the walking bundle of sticks. It is a Faggot Caterpillar, belonging to the group known as Psyches.

"This is the secret of the walking bundle of sticks. It is a Faggot Caterpillar, belonging to the group known as Psyches."

THE SPANISH COPRIS

THE SPANISH COPRIS

The burrow is almost filled with three or four ovoid nests, standing one against the other, with the pointed end upwards.

"The burrow is almost filled with three or four ovoid nests, standing one against the other, with the pointed end upwards."

THE WHITE-FACED DECTICUS

THE WHITE-FACED DECTICUS

The Greek word dectikos means biting, fond of biting. The Decticus is well named. It is eminently given to biting.

"The Greek word dectikos means biting, fond of biting. The Decticus is well named. It is eminently given to biting."

COMMON WASPS

COMMON WASPS

The wasps nest is made of a thin, flexible material like brown paper, formed of particles of wood.

"The wasp's nest is made of a thin, flexible material like brown paper, formed of particles of wood."

THE FIELD CRICKET

THE FIELD CRICKET

Here is one of the humblest of creatures able to lodge himself to perfection. He has a home; he has a peaceful retreat, the first condition of comfort.

"Here is one of the humblest of creatures able to lodge himself to perfection. He has a home; he has a peaceful retreat, the first condition of comfort."

THE SISYPHUS

THE SISYPHUS

The mother harnesses herself in the place of honor, in front. The father pushes behind in the reverse position, head downwards.

"The mother harnesses herself in the place of honor, in front. The father pushes behind in the reverse position, head downwards."

ITALIAN LOCUSTS

ITALIAN LOCUSTS

I have buried underground, she says, the treasure of the future.

"'I have buried underground,' she says, 'the treasure of the future.' "

THE ANTHRAX FLY

THE ANTHRAX FLY

Her delicate suit of downy velvet, from which you take the bloom by merely breathing on it, could not withstand the contact of rough tunnels.

"Her delicate suit of downy velvet, from which you take the bloom by merely breathing on it, could not withstand the contact of rough tunnels."

Title Page Image Detail

Title Page Image Detail

Line Drawing of a wasp. Image with aged paper and tones unedited.

Line Drawing of a wasp. Image with aged paper and tones unedited.

8 Responses to “E. J. Detmold: Fabre’s Book of Insects”

  1. eddie copel Says:

    I have in my possesion a queen mary’s gift book with a print of the ANT LION by E.J. DETMOLD.

    I COULD

  2. eddie copel Says:

    I have in my possesion a queen mary’s gift book with a print of the ANT LION by E.J. DETMOLD.

    I could send you a picture if you like.

    yours
    e. copel

  3. admin Says:

    Sure, that would be great. My email address is on the contact page if you want to send it as an attachment. Or you can post it somewhere like flickr.com or photobucket.com (using the largest file size settings) and send me the url. The higher quality and resolution the better, of course.

    Thanks,

    John

  4. GILBERT RANGEL Says:

    I HAVE IN MY POSESSION A FABRE’S BOOK OF INSECTS THAT IS ILLUSTRATED BY E J DETMOLD WITH A NEW YORK DODD,MEAD, AND COMPANY PUBLISH DATE OF 1926 THAT BELONGED TO MY GRANDFATHER WHEN HE WAS A KID I AM TRYING TO FIND THE OUT WHAT THE VALUE OF THIS BOOK MIGHT BE IT IS IN MINT CONDITION AND YOU CAN SEE IT HAS HARDLY BEEN LOOKED AT CAN YOU HELP?….GILBERT RANGEL

  5. admin Says:

    It is not worth a whole lot. Maybe twenty to fifty dollars if you sold it on eBay. It might sell for twice that or a bit more if you were to buy it in a used book store.

    – John

  6. GILBERT RANGEL Says:

    THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR RESPONCE I REALLY APPRECIATE IT..GILBERT RANGEL

  7. Brad Says:

    I have a 1921 publication to Fabre’s book of Insects…worth anything?

  8. Ann Carter Says:

    I have a very well kept book of FABRE’S BOOK OF INSECTS — illustrations by DETMOLD . It was copyrighted in 1921 and published in 1939 and It is still in the original box. I would be interested in knowing its value, but I think I will probably give it to my eleven year old grandson who wants to be a herpetologist when he grows up. At one time the book belonged to his great grandmother. Ann

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