FLORE DES SERRES ET DES JARDINS DE L'EUROPE,
ou descriptions des plantes les plus rares et les plus méritantes ... Rédigé par C. Lemaire e.a.
Gand, van Houtte, 1845-1880. 23 volumes. Royal-8vo (240 x 155mm). With over 2500, nearly all coloured plates. Contemporary brown half calf, spines with gilt lines and lettering (one volume not uniformly bound), some bindings a bit worn.
A rare set, with all the plates, of this very fine illustrated work. The "Establishment Louis van Houtte" has been the largest nursery in existence not only in Belgium, but on the whole continent. It was famous for its splendid catalogues, issued by its own printing department. This beautiful periodical, appearing monthly for almost 40 years, was illustrated with chromolithographs, designed, printed and sometimes "rebouché au pinceau" in the large printing office situated in the middle of van Houtte's gardens. The man behind this enterprice, Louis van Houtte, ran the firm for about fifty years; after his death the business soon collapsed. In the relatively short time of about half a century in which colour printing from stone dominated the scene of botanical illustration (1800-1850) the Belgian lithographers reached the ultimate of craftmanship. The names of Severeyns, Stroobant and de Pannemaeker are justly famous. Stroobant was the printer of many of the illustrations of the first 10 volumes, he created his own establishment later on; de Pannemaeker painted and colourprinted more than three thousand flower- and fruit-illustrations for many periodicals and books, and was a landscape painter of some renown. He learned the trade under Stroobant's guidance and refined in several steps the process of chromolithography. The illustrations of the "Flore des Serres" depict flowers and plants for sale in the van Houtte's nursery; exotic plants figure extensively. There are 2481 numbered plates and some extra, mostly plain plates, without a number. The double-page plates have 2 numbers and some of the very large folding plates have 4 numbers, sothat the actual number of plates is less than 2500. Volume 19 does not have the general title. Famous botanists contributed like Alex Bivort, Ad. Brongiart, Alph. de Candolle, J. Linden; E.A. Carrière, J. Decaisne, H.G. Reichenbach, J.E. Planchon, P.E. de Puydt, Herm. Wendland, H. Witte and Louis van Houtte. Nissen BBI, 2254; Sitwell & Blunt p. 84; Stafleu & Cowan 15.921.
Item nr. 7324
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