Artist’s Embellished Polyphemus Beetle

Artist’s Embellished Limited Edition

Hand-gilded giclée print, painted with liquid metal accents.
Signed by the artist. Each print comes with a certificate of authenticity.

This edition limited to 15 pieces, is sized at 23 x 23cm,
and is printed on archival Hahnemühle German Etching paper.

Frames are custom made in Britain using English Oak,
African Obeche and specialist Rohm glass.

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Artist’s Embellished Polyphemus Beetle

Latin Name: Mecynorhina Polyphemus
Distribution: Europe, temperate parts of Asia, including Japan
Size: 35 – 80 millimeters

The Polyphemus beetle is a large scarab beetle from the Cetoniinae family. First identified by Fabricius in 1781, this species is most commonly found in dense tropical forests across the African forests. It’s also been known by several other names: it was first called the Giant African Fruit beetles, thanks to its diet of fruits and tree sap. It takes between 4 – 6 months for a Polyphemus to go from egg to full grown beetle, and once an adult it will live for 2 to 5 months.

Polyphemus takes its name from Greek mythology. The original Polyphemus was the one-eyed giant son of Pseidon and Thoosa; in fact, he was one of the Cyclopes described in Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus drugs and blinds Polyphemus after the giant ate several of his men. He later escaped by tying himself to the underside of sheep.

The old English name for beetle was ‘bitela’ – literally, ‘a little biter’.

The Artwork & Limited Edition

The original Polyphemus Beetle artwork was painted in watercolour in 2019, and is the same size as the limited edition midi print. 

Limited Edition Print Size:

• Size: 23 x 23cm, limited to 15 pieces

Every print is signed by the artist and comes with a certificate of authenticity. The certificate is signed, numbered, and comes in a fitted glassine envelope. A custom debossed seal is featured on the back.

The Frames

All frames are custom made in England.

The Wood

Frames are available in two wood varieties: English oak and dark African Obeche.

Oak is a pale cream wood characterised by its strength, durability and characterful grain. It was seen as the monarch of the forest by ancient Indo-Europeans, and our word for ‘tree’ actually derives from their word for ‘oak’ (*deru-).

Obeche is also known as the the African Maple tree. It’s a hardwood species that’s native to several west-central African countries, and its natural heartwood is a pale yellow colour that darkens with age. This wood has been dyed to mimic ebony woods, which are beautiful but endangered due to over-timbering. Dyed Obeche wood mimics wenge wood with its warm dark colouring, straight timber and durability – all without the ecological concerns.

The Glass

Glass is fragile, prone to breaking during shipping and, most importantly, it doesn’t offer the best protection for your prints in the long run.

Light breaks down paper over time, weakening and discolouring paper fibres. The pigments found in ink will also fade with too much exposure. That’s why most art museums filter UV from light sources using a variety of window-coverings and coatings, specialised art frames and reduce light exposure by limiting the number of hours a painting is on display.

There is one simple and effective way to protect your artwork at home; and that’s by using UV protective glass. These frames are made using specialist Rohm plexiglass, which is the highest grade of glass on the market today. This material should not be confused with cheap styrene or acrylic sheets used in department store frames – it’s highly transparent, beautifully bright, break-proof and offers seven times more UV protection than glass.