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Amsterdam, J.B. Elwe, 1794. 4to (285 x 220mm). pp. (4), 128, (3), with handcoloured engraved title-page (a large bouquet of flowers in a vase) and 53 beautifully handcoloured engraved plates. Contemporary half calf, gilt ornamented spine with red gilt lettered label, marbled sides.
one of the rarest and most attractive Dutch flower books
A fine copy of one of the rarest and most attractive Dutch flower books. The list of subscribers mentions 66 names only. Fifty-three flowers are described, something is said about their market-value and useful advice is given on the treatment of flowers also during winter. The flowers are portrayed singly or in small groups, included are several bulbs such as tulips, lilies, crocus, hyacinths (double hyacinths), narcissi, other flowers include the rose, auricula, anemone, carnation and hellebore. Most of the plates include butterflies, caterpillars, beetles or other insects. The artist of the fine plates is unknown. Nissen and Plesch, perhaps, correctly, assign the plates to Paul Theodor van Brussel (1754-1795), though he signs only the title bouquet. 30 plates according to Hunt show influence of the famous French artist Nicolas Robert (1614-1685).
"'Nederlandsch Bloemwerk' is a symbol and representation of the ascendancy of the Dutch nurseryman, the developer and disperser of tulips, hyacinths, and auriculas at the end of the eighteenth century. At the same time it takes a backward glance at the art of the gardener and the flower-painter of a century and a half earlier, the golden age of Tulpomania' (Hunt 733).
Provenance: Armorial bookplate of Henry Rogers Broughton.
Dunthorne 215; Hunt 733; Landwehr 29; Nissen BBI, 2219.