Rare Book Gallery
Phytanthoza Iconographia, sive...
Bookseller: Antiquariaat Junk
1737 Regensburg, H. Lentzen [vol 4: H.G. Neubauer], 1737-45. 4 volumes and 1 index volume. Folio (382 x 250mm). With four engraved titles in red... More
1737 Regensburg, H. Lentzen [vol 4: H.G. Neubauer], 1737-45. 4 volumes and 1 index volume. Folio (382 x 250mm). With four engraved titles in red and black, one mezzotint frontispiece and two mezzotint portraits, and 1025 (a few double-page) engraved plates, some in mezzotint, the etched plates hand-coloured, the mezzotints printed in colours and finished by hand. Contemporary uniform calf, richly gilt decorated spines in 7 compartments with red gilt lettered label, sides with gilt ornamented border and gilt corner pieces. First edition. A very fine copy bound in a very attractive contemporary German binding. Described by the Hunt catalogue as the first botanical book to utilise colour-printed mezzotint successfully. It also contains Georg Dionysus Ehret's first published botanical illustrations (although unsigned). Ehret served his apprenticeship as a botanical draughtsman under Weinmann who exploited him mercilessly, paying him a pittance for several hundred drawings he did for the 'Phythanthoza'. This led to a falling out between the two, which is perhaps why Ehret is nowhere acknowledged in the book. His drawings were engraved by Bartholom Less
Price: 127200.00 EUR
An album of original watercolour...
GREIN (artist, Dutch/Flemish school, 17th century)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
[Holland: seventeenth century]. Folio. (12 1/2 x 8 inches). 48 watercolours of tulips on vellum, interleaved with plain paper with horn and crown... More
[Holland: seventeenth century]. Folio. (12 1/2 x 8 inches). 48 watercolours of tulips on vellum, interleaved with plain paper with horn and crown watermark, each watercolour titled in ink below image, the first watercolour signed "Grein" at the lower right. Contemporary vellum over pasteboard, contained in a modern dark green morocco box, the covers with gilt-ruled borders, the spine in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with elaborate repeat pattern made up from flower-sprays and various small tools. A spectacular album containing finely-executed images on vellum of all the greatest 17th century varieties of tulips: a landmark in the history of botanical art in the Low Countries, and a unique record of the bulbs that inspired the speculative financial-madness called Tulipomania. The tulip, introduced to Europe in the middle of the sixteenth century from the Ottoman Empire, experienced a strong growth in popularity boosted by competition among the wealthy for possession of the rarest varieties. The tulip rapidly became a coveted luxury item, appearing in main-stream art as a symbol of wealth and as a decorative motif on ceramics and textiles. Special varieties were given exotic names or named after popular figures of the time: generals, admirals, etc. The most spectacular and highly sought-after tulips were the so-called "broken" varieties. These had two or more vivid colours: often a base colour of white or cream with red lines, or flames to the petals. The present album is devoted exclusively to these most expensive varieties. Tulipomania eventually reached a level where fantastic, unsustainable prices were being paid for individual bulbs. In 1637, the bubble burst and the over-heated market collapsed. For some years after this, the tulip's popularity remained at a low level but by the time the present album was produced its unique beauty was beginning once again to be appreciated. Tulip albums were produced for two principle reasons. First, as a selling tool for the bulb dealers: accurate images of what the bulbs they were offering were going to look like were obviously vital and the high prices of the tulipomania era set a precedent of employing artists of a very high quality to record the colours and details of the bulbs. These albums are almost exclusively made up of drawings on paper. One of the best known examples of this type of album is probably the 1637 tulip book of P. Cos, a nurseryman from Haarlem, Holland (now in the collection of the Wageningen Universiteit en Researchcentrum). Second, albums were produced as a collective record of the ephemeral beauty of the blooms grown by individuals, either professional growers or wealthy amateurs. The present album probably falls into this latter category: the original presentation of this album is on a much more luxurious scale than trade albums. The most obvious sign of this is the fact that each of the drawings is on vellum. Vellum, especially the prepared vellum used for the present album, was an expensive luxury material and an indicator that the drawings were commissioned by a wealthy individual (in France, for instance, King Louis XIV had all his botanical drawings executed on vellum: the so-called "velins du Roi"). Tulip albums, whatever their origin, are now very rare: according to Sam Segal (a world-renowned expert on tulips and the author of "Tulips in Visual Art",) there are now only about 50 of these albums extant. This includes albums with drawings on paper and also 18th century albums; thus, the actual number of seventeenth century albums with drawings on vellum is almost certainly no more than a handful. Most albums are in institutional collections, so the present album may well be the final example offered on the open market. Sam Segal offered the following information about the present album: the artist "Grein" is an unrecorded artist, but his name "is a Dutch name known since the early seventeenth century." The paper used for the interleaves is watermarked with a horn and crown, similar to paper known to have been made in Amsterdam and Leiden from 1665. The tulip types are from this period as well, before a relative great change in form and size during the eighteenth century. The flowers themselves carry names that "are known from the 1630s and 1640s, the period of and directly after the tulipomania ...they include the very expensive types of that period, like the 'Semper Augustus' and 'Viceroy.' As in many tulip books meant as a catalogue of a seller of bulbs, the illustrations show many related types. That might mean that they are tulips from one nursery or one collection from which the owner gave an order to the artist to paint his collection. The names of some of the tulips could point to a possible commissioner of the album, like 'General Doriszlav' and 'Grootvorst van Moscovicz.'" Dash,Tulipomania , London, 1999; Goldgar,Tulipomania , Chicago, 2007; Pavord,The Tulip,London, 1999; van der Goes (editor) Tulipomanie, Zwolle/Dresden, 2004; Wijnands,Tulips portrayed, Wageningen, 1987. Less
Price: 225000.00 USD
Monograph of the Paradiseidae, or...
SHARPE, Richard Bowdler (1847-1909)
Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books
London: Taylor & Francis for Henry Sotheran & Co, 1891-98. 2 volumes in 8 original parts, large folio. (22 3/16 x 15 1/16 inches). Smaller... More
London: Taylor & Francis for Henry Sotheran & Co, 1891-98. 2 volumes in 8 original parts, large folio. (22 3/16 x 15 1/16 inches). Smaller format letterpress "Notice to Subscribers" tipped in at front of part VI, smaller format "Completion of the work" notice from the publishers tipped in at front of part VIII. 79 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates by William Mathew Hart, after his own drawings (52) and John Gould (20) or John Gerrard Keulemans (7), 13 uncoloured illustrations. Original pictorial grey paper-covered boards, dark blue cloth spines, the upper cover of each part with the letterpress title beneath a large wood-engraved title vignette, the eight parts contained in two dark green morocco-backed cloth boxes, the spines in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second and third compartments, the others with repeat decoration in gilt made up from various small tools. A very fine copy of this, the first monograph devoted to these remarkable birds and the "last of the fine bird books" (Fine Bird Books p.107). This copy, in original parts, with the best colouring of any copy that we have handled in past forty years. The remarkable-looking Birds of Paradise have captivated western science since Magellan first brought back a skin of such a creature in 1522. The skins, highly prized by East Indian natives, was given by the ruler of Batchian (in the Mollucas) as a gift to the King of Spain. The legs and wings of the bird, however, had been removed when skinned, presumably to better show its impressive plumage. When asked why the bird had no wings or feet, the natives replied that none were needed as the bird simply floated in its heavenly paradise. Thus, the earliest descriptions of the species, and indeed even its scientific naming by Linnaeus in the 18th century as Paradisaea apoda (legless bird of paradise), perpetuated that myth. Due to the remote nature of their rain forest habitat in New Guinea, it was not until the mid-19th century that these remarkable birds were first scientifically observed and accurately described. Gould had intended to publish a the first monograph devoted to the birds of paradise following completion of his Birds of New Guinea, but he did not live to do so. When Sharpe took over the task of completing that work, he appealed for subscribers for the proposed monograph. The response was clearly enthusiastic as within three years the first part of the present work was published. Some of the plates had previously appeared in Gould's Birds of New Guinea as "Messrs. Sotheran purchased the stock of Gould's works after his death [and] acquired the stones with which he had intended to illustrate his Monograph... Many of them were broken or otherwise damaged, and of these some have been redrawn or replaced by new plates by Mr. Hart. Since Gould's time, however, many marvelous new species have been discovered, and these have been described and figured in the present work" (Appendix). As the small format slip in part six makes clear, the timing of the publication of the work could not have been better, as so many beautiful new species were discovered whilst the work was in preparation that Sharpe felt justified in extending the size of the work from six to eight parts. Copies of this work were issued at a later date with inferior hand-colouring. The quality of the colouring of the plates in the present copy is outstanding, and it is only with examples of this work in the original parts that the colouring can be guaranteed to be contemporary with the original publication dates. Copies such as the present example are very rare: only three are listed as having sold at auction in the past thirty years. Fine Bird Books (1990) p.107; Nissen IVB 581; Ripley 263; Wood, p.565; Zimmer, p.581. Less
Price: 95000.00 USD