queen-wienerlooks asked: I remember reading in high school that right around the time that the exploration and colonization of Africa went into full swing (around the late 1800s), European fashion got a little bit odd. Specifically, I remember hearing that women's hats and jewelry often had rare and colorful beetles (often live) attached to them. Do you have any examples of this?
Actually, the use of Jewel Beetle shells came from India, where they had long been used as fabric decoration. Victorians had a real love for natural things, and they often used things like taxidermied birds in their hats and fans and jewelry, and insects and birds and animals were popular design motifs. Here’s some examples of things using just jewel beetle shells:
These are amazing!