Johann Gerard Keulemans (1842-1912), Pierre Jacques Smit (1863-1960), Joseph Smit (1836-1929), R.E.HOLDING and others.
An album of mounted original drawings, [circa 1890], 2 (430 x 328mm). 35 mounted original drawings of natural history subjects (6 watercolours, 3 pencil or pencil and wash, 26 pen and ink or pen, ink and wash) signed by Keulemans (1), P.J.Smit (11), J.Smit (1), R.E.Holding (4) and others, with 17 ?proof lithographs and other prints. Early-19th century half calf (spine, joints and extremities worn), modern cloth box.
A fine collection of art-work apparently for a number of different publications, possibly compiled by or for either P.J.Smit or Richard Lydekker (1849-1916), author of The Royal Natural History. The album opens with 6 watercolours: 5 by Holding (200 x135mm. approx.), and a fine composite view of six species of monkeys by Keulemans (195 x 131mm). The remaining art-work is monochrome and smaller, it includes 11 examples signed by P.J.Smit and 14 others that are unsigned but probably by him. Given this preponderance of work by Smit he is a possible original compilor/owner, Lydekker is a the second candidate: two of the pen and ink drawings have notes indicating that they are illustrations for 'R.N.H.' (i.e. The Royal Natural History by Lydekker) and secondly because all of the indentified artists are known to have produced work for Lydekker.
Joseph Smit and his son Pierre-Jacques were prolific artists, working in London, who contributed to many important zoological publications. J.Smit came to London in in 1865-6 and worked closely with Joseph Wolf. His son continued to work in the naturalistic tradition that his father had developed, and both produced work for some of the leading journals of the day, Nissen concludes that the two Smits, together with Keulemans and Grnvold, created the Hhepunkt der zoologischen Grohstierdarstellung in England' (p.215).