Butterfly table by based upon



The surface of Butterfly table and benches by London-based bespoke design studio based upon is inlaid with real butterflies.


The preserved butterflies are inlaid in the surface and encased in resin.


The butterflies were sourced from taxidermists; some have been preserved for nearly thirty years.


Designed for outdoors, the bespoke table and benches are made from compact laminate - a durable resin sheet material with high resistance to impact, heat and water.


Here's some information from based upon:


Butterfly table and benches
based upon gold / butterflies / resin / compact laminate /

based upon have recently completed an exterior butterfly table and benches for a private client in Hong Kong. The butterfly is a classic symbol of metamorphosis or the cycle of life. Preserved within the table the butterflies tread a fine line between a museum preservation designed to satisfy man’s curiosity and the natural preservation that occurs when life is trapped within layers of the earth and ultimately revealed as a fossil.


Made with love by hand in London:

Established in 2004 by twin brothers Richard and Ian Abell, based upon is widely celebrated for its highly innovative approach to luxury design, creating handmade art and furniture with provocatively exquisite surfaces. Our work ranges from sculptural forms and large scale wall installations to personalised artworks which incorporate mementos and precious objects to create a new kind of portrait. Our work is constantly evolving, as most of our private commissions challenge us to create a one-off or something very bespoke.


based upon’s approach is very collaborative, both with its clients and within the team. based upon is made up of 21 handpicked creatives from different backgrounds including fine artists, a ceramicist, a photographer, illustrators, sculptors, furniture designers, graphic designers and strategy consultants. ach person brings a unique perspective on a problem or challenge, but everyone is committed to creating pioneering work, made with love.

Posted on Thursday May 29th 2008 at 5:42 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Theo

    Reminds me of some of Damien Hirst’s work.

  • lia

    he why not taking hamsters, pigeons or fishes to melt them into the table.

  • Fling

    The process seems to create a halo arond the butterflies, and renders them looking like those girly stickers you used to get free with some comics way back. The background laminate/resin material with the twee leaf etching looks like a ‘design’ toilet cubicle system laid horizontal. So, basically what I am saying is that it looks shite. That said, I really should go and see it to make a more informed judgement, but I could not be arsed.
    I like the suggestion of the hamster table though – lots and lots of them, sellotaped down to the surface, supported by a couple of stuffed red setters. And some tension wires. Somewhere.

  • Jack

    Whats next a big red polished heart coffee table?

  • andy

    wahey! warren i do hope this is one of yours the dezeen “design trolls” gonna have your pants down for this!! Your not even allowed to use timber (see loveseat, below) let alone creatures! Some of those flutterbuys size of dinner plates!

  • tom


  • tiffany

    when do people in design stop thinking expensive kitsch is art?

  • would it be wrong to melt some puppies or human fetuses into a table if they express something ‘poetic’ or tell a story of metamorphosis?

    Just wondering?

  • edward

    Well it works as a table. More than can be said of other creations hereabouts, having functional as well as aesthetic value. And it’s a one off I suppose, what the client pays for. Love to know what it sold for. It creators had the satisfaction of creating . And getting paid well for it. What’s not to like.

  • FBot

    What have they designed?

  • a table made of animal corpse….. one specie’s remains is another specie’s design inspiration.

  • Zenza

    Sorry, but this is CRAP!

    Real butterflies?! C’mon!!! Do you guys really consider this design?

  • Beautiful, yet frightfully creepy at the same time.
    Well.. I guess it puts to good use, those butterflies that are sold in frames.. might as well use em up for something..

  • B.S.

    Exceedingly naff

  • This sure invokes ppl with greenpeace’s minds.

  • Carlos Coronado

    Totalmente irrelevante.

  • Frankie

    More top class Dezeen canon fodder, reload !

  • terrence

    Horrible idea…

  • Eduardo

    Here in Rio de Janeiro, when you visit the Christ at the Corcovado Mountain or
    the Sugar Loaf, you can find much less ugly “butterfly” pieces for 5 Euros a piece!
    I invite you all for a visit!

  • I love it!! its’ beautiful! Great post and great find – you’ve come up with some beautiful posts lately Marcus – keep them coming!

  • The butterlies will fade in color too when exposed to light…any light. The stronger the light…say, sunlight or flourescent lights…they will all be chalky in colors and really ugly in a matter of months.

  • Nikita

    Seriously, This looks amazing. I want to buy it!!!

  • The Worker

    An impressive application of liquid metal, the colors and finishes are beautiful. The butterflies are displayed in a fashion that is unique and inherant of the design. If the resin can withstand the elements than it’s the perfect display case for a creature that brings beauty to the entire world.

  • Amazing, how butterfly, little creature, can be so beautiful. plain and simple but amazing at the same time.. No wonders people exploit this beauty all over. Stone or metal, clothing and lingerie gets all attraction- Just put a butterfly on it.
    great work!

  • Gorgeous! What a unique idea. I feel a little bad about the Butterflies though..

  • honkytonk

    Does Blue Cross cover butterflies?