Browse Lots

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
ABB LAURENT BERLSE (1784-1863)
ABB LAURENT BERLSE (1784-1863)

Details
ABB LAURENT BERLSE (1784-1863)

Iconographie du Genre Camellia ou Description et Figures des Camellia les plus belles et les plus rares peints d'aprs nature dans les Serres et sous la direction de M. L'Abb Berlse par M.J.-J.Jung. Paris: H.Cousin, [1839-]1841-1843. 3 volumes, 2 (367 x 278mm). Half-titles, dedication leaf and 4ll. of text addressed to the Societ Royale d'Horticulture de Paris, 4ll. of Tables des Matires, 5ll. of Table Alphabtique. 300 FINE ENGRAVED AND STIPPLE-ENGRAVED PLATES, PARTLY HAND-COLOURED AND FINISHED BY HAND, after Jung by Dumnil, Gabriel and Oudet, under the direction of M.Cousin, printed by N.Rmond, with no engraved numbers to plates 1-63, and various misnumberings or manuscript corrections to subsequent plates. (Some light spotting and browning.) Contemporary French light brown half morocco gilt, the flat spines with overall decorative design incorporating the title, author and volume numbers, uncut (slight fading to spine). Provenance: Robert de Belder (sale Sotheby's, London 27 April 1987 lot 22.)

A FINE COPY WITH A DISTIGUISHED PROVENANCE OF THE MOST CELEBRATED ILLUSTRATED MONOGRAPH ON THE CAMELLIA. Interest in the genus peaked in the middle part of the 19th Century, when large numbers of seedlings obtained from crossing variants of camellia Japonica were raised and named, mostly by the Verschaffelt family, nurserymen at Ghent in Belgium, and by the Abb Berlse in Paris. Lorenzo Berlese was born in Campo Molino near Treviso, north Italy. He moved to Paris as a chaplain, where by 1817, he was already cultivating camellias. He built up a large collection of plants and by 1837 the general proliferation in hybrid varieties and the confusion over nomenclature made it clear to him that a detailed monograph was required. A subscription of 250 names was raised, and the work was published (after a false start with lithograph plates). In 1846 he sold his collection of plants before returning to Italy.

The arrangement of the text is unusual: the scientific and practical monograph (under various chapter headings: origins, classification, cultivation, etc.) is printed on the lower half of the recto of each text leaf with the description of the facing plate on the upper half. The versos of the text leaves are blank. The success of Berlse's work is largely due to J.J.Jung's plates, but there is surprisingly little information about the artist. The Abb thanks him in fulsome terms in the introductory letter to the Members of the Paris Royal Society of Horticulture: his drawings have given life and colour to the author's technical descriptions which would otherwise have paled in comparison with the real thing. The plates demonstrate the pervasive influence of Redout, and the Lindley library index notes that he produced some designs for the periodical Herbier gnral de l'Amateur.. but that is all. He should perhaps be called le Maistre aux Camellias.

Nissen BBI 150; Dunthorne 30; Great Flower Books p.50; cf. Stafleu and Cowan 16.057 (note). (3)
;

More from BOOKS

View All
View All