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Here are three Hairstreaks drawn in copies of Nabokov books. I’m posting these details of these drawings so that you can see the differences among them. A) is legitimate. It’s provenance is through the Nabokov estate. B) is very dubiously legitimate. It is from the April 26 NEBA auction. The James in the inscription is probably meant to be Martin Shuttleworth’s youngest child, Jason James. And C) is almost certainly fraudulent. It was the focus of three posts I made seven years ago. (See “Fake Inscriptions”, parts 1, 2, and 3.)

Detail of Hairstreak drawn in copy of 1969 McGraw-Hill King, Queen, Knave for his wife.

A) Detail of Hairstreak drawn in a Russian 1969 McGraw-Hill Korol’, dama, valet for Véra.

Detail of Hairstreak inscribed to “Young James [Shuttleworth?]”

B) Detail of Hairstreak for “Young James [Shuttleworth?]” in a 1968 McGraw-Hill King, Queen, Knave

C) Hairstreak dated “Xmas 1969”.

C) Hairstreak dated “Xmas 1969” drawn in a 1969 McGraw-Hill Ada.

This is a follow-up to my April 16 posting, “Dubious Ada Inscription Resurfaces”. Mystery Pier Books of West Hollywood, CA, had offered, since withdrawn, an inscribed Ada (picture C) supposedly from Diane Westberg of the Shuttleworth family.

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Michael House’s project, Lolita’s Butterfly, a documentary feature film that “explores the scientific work of literary icon Vladimir Nabokov”, has moved into its second stage of fund-raising. You can get details at Indiegogo:


House, an American composer and filmmaker based in Paris, has posted rushes and sample clips on the site. He raised more than $4500 in stage one through Indiegogo and is now trying to raise €3,000 in stage two.

Here’s the vimeo of some of the material:

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Here’s a link to a film-in-work on Nabokov’s entomological pursuits, Lolita’s Butterfly, by Michael House, an American composer and filmmaker based in Paris. It looks promising. But I have one problem with it: I don’t get the title. I hope that becomes clear when I see the completed picture.

Lolita’s Butterfly

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Persisting, we move on to a new set of draft pages for the revised and updated bibliography: Nabokov’s Butterflies is a collection of 415 butterfly artifacts drawn from the three worlds of Nabokov’s life—the scientific, the artistic, and the personal—and displays them where they met and where they interbred. Included, mostly as excerpts, are memoirs, stories, novels, poems, lepidopterological articles, letters, essays, and drawings. This is also the one place in which all of Nabokov’s scientific works on lepidoptera (most in full) are readily available. The volume did not appear in the 1986 bibliography.

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