Eugène Alain Séguy is a rather mysterious figure, with little information available on him. Some sources suggest there were two men with the same name – one, Eugene Séguy, an entomologist, responsible for founding the Diptera section in the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and the other a designer, whose numerous patterns included a substantial number based on insects. It seems unlikely that the entomologist would have had time to develop the skill to create the famous butterfly designs, but there does seem to be some discrepancy in style between those and the looser, more abstract floral designs.
However, here certainly was an Emile-Allain Séguy, professionally known as E.A. Séguy, who was a French designer during the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements of the 1920s. He primarily created patterns and textiles inspired by the natural world.
As far as we know, it is Emile-Allain who created the popular ‘Papillons’ and ‘Insectes’ books, filled with illustrations of vividly colored butterflies and insects made using the pochoir—French for “stencil”—technique. He also made designs drawn from other natural elements such as feathers, flowers and leaves.
We at the Laughing Elephant are very fortunately in having a portfolio of his pochoir-printed designs entitled, ‘Floreal.’ We drew from this portfolio of brilliant prints the images for our set of pocket notebooks of that name.