Letter (WCP1274.1053)



June 9th. 1846

Dear Sir

I should have written to you before but I have been rather busy with my Cabinet which I have at length got, & which pleases me very well —

While I was about it I thought I would have a good one — It contains 28 drawers each 13½ in. x 17½ in the clear inside fitted with camphor cells front & back & with proper glass frames to lift out — The drawers are made of cedar & mahogany & & [sic] the doors sides & top of mahogany french polished. It stands ab[ou]t. 3ft high with a bookcase on the top of it which it was made to match — I have got the 12 upper drawers glazed to commence with — They will I [2] think contain a very good Collection of British coleoptera.

The cabinet itself cost me £10 and cork, glazing, & paper for the whole I calculate will come to £4 more but that will be by degrees. So that will be 10s. a drawer instead of a guinea & though of course not quite equal to the best it is still quite good enough for me for the present —

I have arranged my Geodephaga1 in 2 drawers leaving spaces for all the species in Mr. Dilwyn's [sic] list2 & many others that I think it likely I may obtain — I am also arranging the Curculionidae. Leaving spaces for what one has not got exposes [3] the paucity of ones collection amazingly.

I have sent up a Guinea to the Ray Society3 but do not know how to get the Books without expense. How do you manage? — I have been unable to get Stephen's [sic] nomenclature4,5 so have been obliged to write all the names for my Cabinet which after all does not take so much time if you go about it regularly.

My latest good captures have been Oedemera coerulea, Cleonus sulcirostris[,] Clytus arietis, Phaedon fastuosa and Dorcas [Dorcus] parallelipipedus. The two first pleased me much — The weather has been wonderfully fine & warm last week the thermometer was 85º in the shade on several days.

I do not know how it is with you but here there is no Hawthorn blossom, not above one bush in [4] a thousand have a single bud on.

It must be accounted for by the want of solar light & heat last summer, which was not sufficient to Enable the plant to elaborate the necessary juices to form flower buds — though I have been many times on the Burrows6 I have not seen a single Cicindela hybrida7 yet. I hope I shall have better luck next time.

You mentioned in one of your letters a monograph of the Libellulidae;7 what is the price of it & what kind of a work is it? — I send on another sheet a list of my principal captures & duplicates — when I receive your next I shall send you a box full — Save me some Donacia crassipes if you can.

I must now subscribe myself

Yours faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Mr H. W. Bates.

[5]7 Condition[?] "v. moderate" w.p.c.

Value c. £8 to £9

Cabinet £15-£20

"[cabinet] & book case £23-£258

Geodephaga: obsolete taxonomic name for a group of terrestrial and predaceous beetles (Coleoptera).
Probably Dillwyn, L. W. 1829. Memoranda Relating to Coleopterous Insects, Found in the Neighbourhood of Swansea. Swansea: Privately published.
The Ray Society, based at the Natural History Museum, London, was founded in 1844 in honour of naturalist John Ray (1628-1705), to publish scientific works on flora and fauna, principally, though not exclusively, British. <http://www.raysociety.org.uk> [Accessed 29 June, 2018]
Stephens, James Francis (1792-1853). British entomologist.
Stephens, J. F. 1833. The Nomenclature of British Insects; Together with Their Synonymes; Being a Compendious List of Such Species as are Contained in the Systematic Catalogue of British Insects, and of Those Discovered Subsequently to Its Publication; Forming a Guide to their Classification. &c. &c. Second edition. London: Baldwin & Cradock.
Probably Crymlyn Burrows, an area of sand-dunes near Neath, Wales (see WCP341: ARW to Henry Walter Bates, dated 3 May 1846).
All text on this page is written in pencil in another hand.
Libellulidae: a family of dragonflies (Odonata), commonly known as "skimmers" or "perchers".

Please cite as “WCP1274,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 21 September 2023, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP1274