(Paris: C. L. F. Panckoucke, 1824[-26]). 253 x 163 mm. (10 x 6 1/2"). 2 p.l.,  leaves of descriptions,  leaves (prospectus). Three volumes in one. First Octavo Edition. A Large Paper Copy.
Contemporary red straight-grain half morocco over brown marbled boards, raised bands, spine compartments richly gilt with acanthus leaves and floral tools, gilt titling, marbled endpapers. 160 BEAUTIFUL PLATES OF ROSES PRINTED AND HAND-FINISHED IN COLOR, as called for. Catalogue Redoutéana 40; Dunthorne 233; Nissen BBI 1599; Sitwell, "Great Flower Books," p. 128. Slight wear to joints, extremities somewhat rubbed, but the binding sturdy and pleasing. Intermittent minor foxing to text leaves, a couple of plates with small brown spots (away from image), but AN EXCELLENT COPY of an edition difficult to find this well preserved, the text generally clean and fresh with generous margins, and THE PLATES EXTREMELY CLEAN and virtually free from foxing.
Bound from the original 40 livraisons issued over two years, this is an especially attractive Large Paper Copy of the first octavo version of Redouté's masterwork, prompted by the success of the folio edition issued in 1817. The text here has been revised and expanded to include much more information about cultivating roses, and the plates were expertly reduced in size, printed in colors, and hand-finished under the watchful eye of Redouté himself. The Belgian painter and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840) was known as the "Raphael of flowers." His talent was such that he weathered the turbulent political times and served as court painter to Marie Antoinette and to both of Napoleon's empresses, Josephine and Marie-Louise. Nissen says that Redouté's color plates, "light, clear and beautiful, [are] very representative of the Napoleonic Empire." The artist painted many botanical specimens, but it was with roses that he excelled, creating what some have called "portraits" of the blossoms. The delicate delineation and careful coloring give the roses here an extremely realistic, almost three-dimensional, quality; they might have been snipped from Josephine's garden, still sprinkled with dew, mere moments ago. While obviously admired primarily for the beauty of its plates, the book, says Stafleu, is important "as a record of botanical knowledge of the genus Rosa" that should "not be underestimated." Complete copies of the folio edition now sell in the mid- to high six figures; our octavo edition is an appealing alternative, and this copy is particularly attractive. (ST16138)
Add to Cart Price: $19,500.00
PJP Catalog: 77.146