Exquisitely rendered natural history prints from a rare monograph on butterflies from famous collections of specimens of the period, which was produced by Dutch butterfly experts. The plates combine scientific accuracy and a sophisticated aesthetic sense in terms of the arrangements of butterflies on each page, as well as in the depiction of colors and decorative patterns. The work represents the first color book on exotic butterflies arranged in accordance with the Linnean system of classification.
Pieter Cramer (1721-1776) was a merchant in Spanish wool with a great interest in butterflies. He began the project of editing this comprehensive illustrated publication, but when he died in the midst of it, the remaining volumes were edited by C. Stoll. The painter Gerrit Wartenaar Lamberts was commissioned to paint first the butterflies in Cramer's collection and then in other "cabinets of curiosities." Throughout the book names of owners of Cabinets are mentioned, including Pieter Boddaert, Houttuin, P. Luchtmans, Prince Willem, Baron van Rengers and many others. Lambertz depicted over 1,650 species of butterflies in top and bottom views at life size. The beautiful copperplate engravings were finished with delicate realistic handcoloring.
Condition: Generally very good, the colors bright, the paper with the usual light overall toning, some minor scattered wear, soiling, soft creases. Some scattered unobtrusive foxing or oxidation spots.
Nissen, Claus. Die Zoologische Buchillustration: ihre Bibliographie undGeschichte. Stuttgart:1969-78. 985.