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Insects, Butterflies, Art, Pieter Cramer, Antique Prints, Amsterdam, Late 18th Century

Pieter Cramer (1721-1776) and Caspar Stoll (c.1725-1791) (editors)
Gerrit Wartenaar Lamberts (1747-1803) (after)
Butterfly Studies
from Papillons Exotiques des Trois parties du Monde: l’Asie, l’Afrique et l’Amerique
[Exotic Butterflies from Three Parts of the World: Asia, Africa and America]

S.J. Baalde and N.T. Gravius, Amsterdam, 1779-91
Hand-colored engravings
11.5 x 9 inches each
$375 each

Note: The images shown here are a sampling of what we have in stock, each image showing three or four engravings. All are available for purchase individually or as sets of two or more prints. Contact us if you are interested in putting together arrangements based on specific colors. We also can provide custom framing for groups of prints.

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 beautiful copperplate engravings were finished with delicate and realistic hand coloring. The work represents the first color book on exotic butterflies and moths arranged in accordance with the Carl Linnaeus’ (1707-1778) new system of classification.

Product description continues below.


Pieter Cramer (1721-1776) was a Dutch merchant of Spanish wool and linen and an entomologist who amassed an exhaustive collection of butterflies and moths. He began a project of editing a comprehensive illustrated publication focused on species from around the world, initially consisting of four volumes that included 400 drawings and descriptions in French and German of each insect. The painter Gerrit Wartenaar Lamberts was commissioned to paint the butterflies in Cramer’s collection, and later, specimens belonging to other collectors. In all, Lambertz depicted over 1,650 species of butterflies in top and bottom views at life size. Throughout the book, the other collectors are credited, including Pieter Boddaert, Houttuin, P. Luchtmans, Prince Willem and Baron van Rengers. Cramer died before the first volume was completed, but his nephew Anthony van Rensselaer and the entomologist Caspar Stoll, a member of the Scientific Society of The Hague, completed the project, which ultimately was delivered to subscribers in 33 parts between 1775 and 1782.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling.


Garcia, Olga Vega. “120 Aniversario BNCJM – Tesoros. Las Exóticas mariposas de Pieter Cramer y Caspar Stoll.” Biblioteca Nacional de Cuba José Marti. 29 November 2020. (22 April 2021).

Landwehr, J. Studies in Dutch Books with Coloured Plates, 1662-1875. The Hague: 1976. 53.

Nissen, Claus. Die Zoologische Buchillustration: ihre Bibliographie undGeschichte. Stuttgart:1969-78. 985.

Additional information


18th Century