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REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840) and Claude Antoine THORY (1759-1827). Les Roses. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817-1824.
IMPORTANT BOTANICAL BOOKS FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTION OF THE CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN
REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840) and Claude Antoine THORY (1759-1827). Les Roses. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817-1824.

Details
REDOUTÉ, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840) and Claude Antoine THORY (1759-1827). Les Roses. Paris: Firmin Didot, 1817-1824.

3 volumes, large 2° (551 x 358 mm). LARGE-PAPER ISSUE. Half-titles. Engraved portrait of Redouté by C. S. Pradier after Gerard, FLORAL WREATH AND 169 STIPPLE-ENGRAVED PLATES IN TWO STATES, PRINTED IN COLORS AND FINISHED BY HAND, AND IN BLACK ON OCHRE PAPER, by Langlois, Chapuy and others after Redouté, printed by Rémond and WITH TWO ORIGINAL WATERCOLORS BY REDOUTÉ of the Rosier pimptenelle, 24 May 1822 (vol. III p.23) and Rosier spinulé de Dalmatia, 6 May 1822 (vol. III p.7). (Some browning and staining to text edges, some occasional light spotting to plates.) Contemporary red quarter morocco, spine gilt (book blocks detached from covers, upper cover of volume one loose, some joints starting, wear to spine ends, rubbed). Provenance: Henry W. Poor (1844-1915) American banker and collector of bindings, illuminated manuscripts, press books and other subjects (bookplate); Emmanuel Martin (bookplate); The Warren H. Corning Collection Horticultural Classics (bookplate).

THE LARGEST PAPER COPY WITH THE PLATES IN TWO STATES OF THE FIRST EDITION OF REDOUTÉ'S MOST FAMOUS WORK, WITH THE COLORED PLATES IN THEIR MOST DESIRABLE FORM: “FINISHED BY REDOUTÉ” MacPhail). One of a small number of copies with plates issued in two states.

The black impressions on the ochre of the plates served a practical purpose: “It was discovered by English printers that stipple engravings printed most successfully from plates that had been well used. A number of black impressions were run off to take the sharpness off the plate. Redouté's printers also took some black impressions from plates for both the Liliacées and the Roses.... the black impressions are always printed on paper with a strong ochre-yellow tint... Since black has a much greater force than the delicate colored inks washed with thin watercolor that Redouté normally used, black impressions on reflective white paper would have produced prints with grossly exaggerated tonal contrasts. By using paper devoid of brilliance, he was able to subdue that contrast and produce black prints that enabled the reader to appreciate the purity of his engravers' stipple and roulette technique.” (G.Bridson & D.Wendel. Printmaking in the service of Botany Pittsburgh: Hunt Institute, 1986. no.25).

Les Roses, with its combination of Redouté's plates and Thory's text, remains not only a great artistic achievement, but also a valuable scientific record. Lawalrée describes the text as being "of outstanding importance to both botanists and horticulturalists". Its author, Thory, was an ardent botanist with his own collection of roses, who came to live at an estate neighboring Redouté's soon after 1814. Their celebration of roses describes many forerunners of today's flowers, and includes details of a number of species and cultivars that have since disappeared. The roses used as specimens for the work were taken from the collections of Thory, the Malmaison gardens, and from other collections around Paris. Many of the flowers were novelties in Redouté's day, and a number were dedicated to his friends and acquaintances, such as L'Héritier de Brutelle and Ventenat.

Stafleu and Cowan 8748; Cleveland Collections 807 (GC copy this copy); A. Lawalrée Les Roses facsimile edition, with commentary, Antwerp: Schutter, 1978; I. MacPhail, “Books Illustrated by Redouté” in G.H.M. Lawrence A catalogue of Redoutéana exhibited at the Hunt Botanical Library, Pittsburgh: 1963; Great Flower Books p. 71; Dunthorne 232; Nissen BBI 1599.
Sale Room Notice
Please note the two watercolors are not by Redoute but by a contemporary artist.

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