Inlandsche Kapellen in beeld (Illustrations of native Butterflies). Album of 170 splendid original watercolours of Dutch Butterflies & Caterpillars, together with their feeding plants.

Eur 45,000 / USD 49,500
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Circa 1800-1840. 4to (235 x 190mm). Each plate within a black framing line, with a silhouette drawing frontispiece of W.D.V de Graaf 1762-1846 and a coloured coat of arms on the inside of the front cover. Later cloth, gilt lettered spine.

A precious and unique album with original watercolours by Willem Diederik Vincent de Graaf (1762-1846)

A precious and unique album with original watercolours by Willem Diederik Vincent de Graaf (1762-1846) druggist and entomologist at Enkhuizen and close friend of Jan Christian Sepp the author, artist and publisher of one of the finest works on butterflies "Beschouwing der wonderen Gods, in de minst geachte schepselen. Of Nederlandsche Insecten?". According to Landwehr 'the most important work on Dutch lepidoptera'. The here offered watercolours resemble in style and perfection the plates by Jan Christian Sepp.

In volume 3 page 42, 49, 90 and 93 of Sepp's "Beschouwing der wonderen Gods ?" the author refers to De Graaf and on page 42 he thanks his dear friend as follows: 'Het was den 29sten May des Jaars 1798, dat ik van mynen warden Vriend den Heere W.D.V. de Graaf, Apothecar te Enkhuysen, en liefhebber der Insecten den navolgenden Brief ontving?' (The 29th May 1798, I received the following letter from my dear friend W.D.V. de Graaf, pharmacist in Enkhuizen, and lover of insects?."). From the contents of pages 42, 49, 90 and 93 it becomes clear that De Graaf supplied Jan Christian Sepp with numerous caterpillars and butterflies. On page 93 we read the following: 'In het laatst van de maand Juny, ontving ik van mynen in dit werk reeds meergenoemden vriend, de heer W.D.V. de Graaf te Enkhuisen, (wien ik myne dankbaarheid hiervoor openlyk getuige) een doos met 30 à 40 Eiëren?'. (During the month June, I received from my already frequently mentioned friend W.D.V. de Graaf of Enkhuizen (to whom I openly acknowledge my gratitude) a box of 30 to 40 eggs?).

Considering the fact that de Graaf was also an entomologist it is most likely that the drawings are by him. The lettering on the spine confirms this as follows 'Inlandsche Kapellen in Beeld door W.D.V. de Graaf', which indicates clearly that the plates are by W.D.V. de Graaf.

The watermarks in the album are J. Honig & Zoonen, J. Kool, De Erven Dk Blauw, J. Kloppenburg & Van Gelder and indicate a date between 1800 and 1840. Concerning W.D.V. de Graaf see H. Engel. Alphabetical List of Dutch Zoological Cabinets and menageries no. 557.