[FREUDENBERGER, Sigmund (1745-1801).] An album of erotic miniatures, France or Switzerland, late 18th century.
Small folio (164 x 138 mm). 12 pen and ink and gouache miniature on paper roundels (65 mm diameter) window mounted on vellum leaves within a square black ground with a gilt rule border. Full tan morocco by David, with his stamp, the sides with an onlaid border of navy blue morocco filled with a semé of priapic satyrs in gilt, the spine in compartments each with a priapic satyr within a thin border of onlaid navy blue morocco, the pastedowns with a racing green morocco doublure repeating the same tool, the free endpapers lined with green moiré; contemporary brown roan slipcase. Provenance: ?Jean-Henri Eberts (1726-1793, banker, art dealer and publisher) -- Prince Alexandre Bibesco (1841-1911, purchased from him by Brunot; letter laid-in recording the early provenance).
A SUPERB ALBUM OF EXQUISITE EROTIC MINIATURES BY FREUDENBERGER, IN A FINE PRIAPIC BINDING BY DAVID, this binding perhaps for Frederick Hankey. The miniatures exhibit a lightness of spirit, and a lightness of touch, in the finely detailed rendering of the scenes. Most of these include a winged putto assisting with the proceedings: lending a helpful hand or, as in the case of the horseback embrace, leading the charge and sounding the trumpet. Freudenberger may have painted these miniatures for Jean-Henri Eberts, who had commissioned drawings from Freudenberger for his Suite d'estampes pour servir à l'histoire des moeurs et du costume des Français dans le dix-huitième siècle (1774-75). Freudenberger worked in Paris where he was close to important artists, such as Boucher, who influenced the style of his work. He made a number of erotic or gallant engravings, including for the Heptameron, Les Moeurs du Temps, and the very fine illustrations to Nerciat's most important work Les Aphrodites. His original work shows a high degree of sensitivity, evident in this album, and the original ink-wash drawings in the Nordmann copy of Les Aphrodites (Christie’s Paris, 14-15 December 2006, lot 14).