GILBERT, Lady Isabella Rose (fl. 1814-1850). Three albums of natural history drawings and observations, comprising:
2 uniformly-bound albums [both watermarked 1825; notes dated 1825-1828], 4° (243 x 194mm). The first with a watercolour frontispiece of an urn of flowers and c. 49 watercolour drawings with pencil underdrawing of butterflies, caterpillars, insects, and flora, some additional drawings pasted onto the album sheets, many annotated or captioned; the second a manuscript of natural history observations of c. 96 pp, some erasures and scorings-through and pencilled annotations or corrections. (Some very light spotting, light offsetting or browning caused by adhesive, some leaves excised.) Original straight-grained red morocco gilt, boards with central panels and gilt and blind borders, flat spines gilt in compartments (lightly rubbed and scuffed, tears on spine of manuscript volume).
One album, signed by Gilbert on the flyleaf and annotated 'These insects were ... drawn ... some by myself & some by a native painter'. [Watermarked 1838.] 4° (305 x 230mm), paginated 1-93, with c. 42 watercolour-drawings with pencil underdrawing of butterflies, moths, caterpillars, and flora tipped onto the album leaves, some additional drawings pasted onto the main sheets, manuscript notes on facing and/or following pages. (Some light browning and offsetting caused by adhesive.) Original straight-grained morocco gilt over cloth (lightly rubbed). Provenance: Lady Isabella Rose Gilbert (compiler) -- [sale, Sotheby's London, 19 July 1984, lot 82 (the 3 albums together)].
A SERIES OF SOME 90 WATERCOLOURS OF BUTTERFLIES AND INSECTS EXECUTED IN INDIA IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF THE 19TH CENTURY. Isabella Rose Ross, the daughter of Major Thomas Ross RA, married Walter Raleigh Gilbert (1785-1853) in Calcutta on 1 June 1814; Gilbert had been an army officer with the East India Company since 1801 and remained in the subcontinent, pursuing a successful career as a soldier, attracting particular praise for his roles in the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, which culminated in a baronetcy in 1850. This group of albums appears to have been compiled by his wife in India and they are illustrated by watercolours in her own hand and those of indigenous artists. (3)