Circa 1735
Finely enamelled in a rich famille rose palette with a sprig of iris and of clematis, a caterpillar crawling on each and a butterfly alongside, the well with a blue and gilt border and the rim with entwined leafy scrollwork, narrow iron-red and gilt border on the reverse
6 7/8in. (17.5cm.) diam.
The Jarras collection, sold Christie's London, 13 June 1990, lot 107
With Marchant & Son, London
A private American collection

Lot Essay

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), the daughter and granddaughter of famed Frankfurt artists, engravers and printers, became an artist herself and an amateur botanist. She wrote in her journal "From my youth onwards I have been concerned with the study of insects, in which I began with silkworms in my native city...which led me to collect all the caterpillars I could find in order to study their metamorphosis". This pattern is a combination of details from three studies in her third Raupenbuch (caterpillar book), while its border relates closey to Pronk designs. See Antiques magazine, August 2000, for Charlotte Jacob-Hanson on Merian

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