4 June 2008
ENTOMOLOGICAL WATERCOLOURS -- Sammlung Lief: und Ehstlands Insecten dritte Klasse. [Paper watermarked 1794].
4° (290 x 233 mm). Manuscript title on a watercolour cartouche decorated with floral garlands, 29 leaves of watercolour drawings with approx 10 images on each, each with an explanatory manuscript text leaf in German with Latin nomenclature. (One leaf of drawings torn and expertly repaired, one single image on paper and mounted onto leaf, occasional light spotting and soiling.) Contemporary olive silk covered limp boards, covers with a simple outer border composed of stars and dotted elipses enclosing a small floral centrepiece, possibly of Baltic origin, gilt edges (backstrip and edges very worn, but the whole intact).
FINE ILLUSTRATIONS OF BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS apparently executed from life, and depicting the pupae, caterpillars and plants associated with the relevant species. There is unfortunately no indication of the identity of the gifted artist, but it remains a magnificent record of Latvian and Estonian entomology. Both laid and wove papers from Whatman and Jan Kool are used in the present work. Kool, a papermaker from Zaandam in Holland, went into business in 1806, having served an apprenticeship under Whatman. He appears to have been responsible for the introduction of wove paper to Holland, and began producing it himself in 1807.
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