French School, 19th-century.
Three albums of original botanical watercolour drawings titled 'Dessins peints' on covers. [France: circa 1820]. 3 volumes, 4 (300 x 230mm.) 34 leaves in total. 3 initial blanks, 2 other blanks, 66 ORIGINAL WATERCOLOUR AND BODYCOLOUR DRAWINGS on 29 leaves comprising 62 botanical designs of flower sprays on 26 leaves, 3 drawings of baskets on one leaf and one drawing of a vase with flowers on one leaf. (Tear to outer margin of one leaf.) Original oatmeal-coloured sugar-paper wrappers titled in manuscript on the front covers Dessins peints (small tears to extremities, larger tear to upper cover of one volume), all within a single modern cloth box.
A CHARMING COLLECTION, FIRMLY IN THE FOLK-ART TRADITION. The albums were possibly intended for use as a pattern book for textiles or porcelain and echo the tradition of the great French printed botanical works that preceded them.
The depiction of the flowers is inevitably somewhat formalised but the species shown all seem to be either European natives or to have been naturalised in Europe for many years. They include 5 roses, 4 pinks/carnations, 3 narcissi, 2 auriculas, 2 crocus, 2 jasmine and one each: voilets, honeysuckle, geranium, corn cockle, broom, hawthorn, lily-of-the-valley, chrysanthemum, poppy, nasturtium, philadelphus, iris, convolvulus, lily, tulip, viola, sweet pea and jasmine. (3)