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Thursday 4 November 2010

Bug eyed: Entomology notebooks from Natural History

Just across the road from where I work is the Natural History Museum. It's got dinosaurs and great Gothic dinosaurs but what I really like is the thought of all those curators, feverishly working behind the scenes to categorize the latest breed of mollusc or travelling to the far reaches of the globe, obsessed by the pursuit of a new sub-species of slug (read Dry Store Room No. 1 and you'll realise that's no exaggeration).

While, like any great museum, their shop is naturally ace, their spirit has also influences the independent shop Natural History and their website The origin of style. Owner Sarah was inspired by Dublin's Museum of Natural History and, with an eye worthy of a curator, has put together a collector's cabinet of homewares and gifts. There's laboratory vases, cosy baby blankets and beautiful silk robes printed with images of coral. However, my favourite are their entomology notebooks, especially the Stellognathe variety that's shown above.

It's a pleasingly chunky notebook, bound in gorgeous pale pink leather, with classy Italian paper and a ribbon book mark. Oh yes, and a giant beetle on the cover. The illustration is apparently taken from a nineteenth century, manuscript and adds a gravitas to the notebook, further enhanced by the creature's name which is written in Latin and French along the spine. It's a notebook that demands serious attention. While I know I'm not going to suddenly run off to a foreign land to discover a new species, it does inspire to think that - at the very least - any to-do lists I write in it will be done, that it'll accompany me on a few nice holidays and my scrawled daydreaming thoughts have the potential of becoming delightful realities.

The notebook costs £25 or you can get four (pick from moths, coral or more beetles) for £75. Think of it as an investment for your more adventurous side.


  1. The funny thing is... I could really have used one of these as a lab book, when I worked in the Natural History Museum, as an entomologist :D

  2. Now, is it just me, or do bugs/insects work quite well in design? There bodies have such intricate designs that it can be quite beautiful. For instance, these butterfly wallstickers are lovely -


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