A SELECTION OF DRAWINGS COMING FROM AN ALBUM AMICORUM
It is not known when the album was assembled, but the monogram on the cover indicates that it belonged to Henri-Eugène-Philippe-Louis d'Orléans, duc d'Aumale (1822-1897), fifth son of the last king of France, King Louis-Philippe (1773-1850), who served in his father's army from the age of sixteen, but had to flee from France in 1848 during the Revolution, settling in England for 23 years. Living in Orléans House, near Twickenham, he formed many important acquaintances including that of Frances, wife of 7th Earl of Waldegrave, who lived at Strawberry Hill, the former home of Horace Walpole, from whom she was descended. Having discovered the enjoyment of collecting art in France, he spent much time in England being advised over commissioning art to expand his collection.
He amassed what can be considered the most important private collection of paintings and drawings in France, buying back much of what had been taken during the Revolution. His collection included works by artists such as Dürer, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Guercino, van Dyck, Géricault, Holbein, Reynolds, Poussin and Watteau, much of which was kept at the Château de Chantilly, which he had inherited from his uncle in 1830, and all of which, including the chteau, he bequeathed to the Institut de France in 1897, it now forms the Musée Condé.
At some point, the album was given by him to Hon. Emily Jane Mercer Elphinstone de Flahault (1819-1895), sur jure Lady Nairne, wife of Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 4th Marquess of Lansdowne, and has descended in the same family ever since. It is unknown exactly when the album changed hands but there were strong connections between her family and the d'Orléans. She was the daughter of General Auguste-Charles-Joseph de Flahault de la Billarderie (1785-1870), who in 1830 was made a peer of France by King Louis Philippe and became attached to the household
of Ferdinand Philippe d'Orléans, Prince Royal of France (1810-1842), from 1860 to 1862 when he served as Ambassador to Great Britain. An inscription on the verso of a drawing by Paul Huet (lot 141) 'last of the drawings given by H.R.H. the Dq of Orléans' suggests that the drawings were given by the Duke of Orléans over a period of time to be pasted into the album. It is possible that some of the drawings never belonged to the Duke but were added by the album's owner.
The album in which these drawings were previously bound was made by Alphonse Giroux, at his shop, 7 Rue du Coq. Alphonse Giroux was the son of Francois Simon Alphonse Giroux, a Parisian cabinet maker and the official restorer of Notre Dame, who in 1799 opened an artist supplies shop in Rue du Coq, St Honore. The business was taken over by his son in 1838. They numbered King Louis XVIII and King Charles X amongst their clientele. In 1857 the shop was relocated to 43, Boulevard des Capucines, therefore suggesting that the drawings were placed in the album between 1838 and 1857.