This image was initially saved in a “peacock” inspiration folder, to be shared later in a long post about peacock colors:
Then I read the description about this Southern Indian antique embroidery from around 1880. I discovered something mind-blowing! What do you think those peacock-colored iridescent specks are?
They are beetle wings. Yes!
Very skilled hands at the Hobart School for Mussulman Girls in Madras used zardozi and the wings of Jewel Beetles to create this piece which was then shipped to England in 1882. Read more about it. Here’s close up detail:
Astounding! Some things shouldn’t be buried in a long post among other photos – they’re worthy of their own spotlight. Just like this proud guy:
Here’s the Jewel Beetle: