Libraire-expert de livres et manuscrits anciens
Vendu
Acheter
Estimation d'un livre ou d'un manuscrit
ERNST, Jean-Jacques, et Jacques-Louis-Florentin Engramelle

Papillons d'Europe peints d'après nature...

Paris, De Laguette, Bazantet et Poignant, 1779

THE POST-LINNEAN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BUTTERFLIES, WHEN THEY STILL EXISTED.

IN THE LAST 20 YEARS, HALF OF EUROPEAN BUTTERFLIES HAVE DISAPPEARED.

A VERY GOOD COPY WITH LARGE MARGINS OF THIS SUMPTUOUSLY PRODUCED PUBLICATION

FIRST AND SOLE EDITION

2 parts in 8 4to volumes (347 x 258mm), plates of text larger than the plates of illustration
Engraved vignettes on the title pages, engraved headpiece of dedication to the arms of Gigot d’Orcy, headpiece engraved with butterfly and caterpillar motifs, numerous tailpieces and typographic ornaments with insect motifs
LIMITATION : only 250 copies
COLLATION : v. I : (10p.) : half-title, title, blank, dedication, notice (i)-xxxiv, (1)-86 ; v. (II) : (2p.) : half-title and title, (87)-343-(344), (2p.) : table of classification numbers ; v. III : (2p.) : title and half-title, I-XI : list of the 250 subscribers (1)-132 ; v. IV : (2p.) : title and half-title, (1)-215, 1 p. of Errata : v. V : (2p.) : title and half-title, (1)-152, 1 p. Avis aux souscripteurs, v. VI : (2p.) : title and half-title (1)-176, 1 p. of Errata ; v. VII : (2p.) : title and half-title (1)-174, 1 p. of Errata ; v. VIII : (1p.) : title as it should be, (1)-157, 2p. of Avis aux souscripteurs
ILLUSTRATION : v. I : title-frontispiece Insectes d’Europe engraved by J. J. Juillet after Le Sueur, 24 plates numbered 1-24 ; v. II : 3 plates of instruments for butterfly hunting drawn by Ranson engraved by J. J. Juillet, 60 plates numbered 25-84, and 8 plates of supplements numbered 1-8 ; v. III : title-frontispiece Insectes d’Europe… Seconde partie, 38 numbered 85-122 ; v. IV : title-frontispiece (black and white) of butterfly hunting drawn and engraved by Swebach Desfontaines : Insectes d’Europe peints d’après nature. Seconde partie… , 49 plates numbered 123-171 ; v. V : 39 plates numbered 172-210 ; v. VI : 47 plates numbered 211-257 ; v. VII : 48 plates numbered 258-305 ; v. VIII : 37 plates numbered 306-342, a few butterflies in the last two volumes are enhanced with gold or silver
Thus, in total : 3 plates of instruments for butterfly hunting printed in black, 350 plates ALL ENHANCED IN VERY FINE CONTEMPORARY COLORS, 3 engraved titles-frontispieces including 2 ENHANCED IN THE SAME COLOR

UNIFORM BINDING AROUND 1820 SIGNED BY DUCASTIN. Dos long decorated and gilt blue morocco, DECKLE EDGES PRESERVED, LARGE MARGINS

Rare wormholes and foxing on the leaves of text (in v. IV on a few leaves), very little on the plates (except on the margin of pl. 328). Slightly rubbed binding

First and only edition of one of the most attractive art books on butterflies. It was issued in parts and on subscription only in a limited edition of 250 copies. The Liste des Souscripteurs shows the most exhaustive compendium of high profile monarchs and courtiers in Europe. Some famous names of scientists are also part of that list. The plates were designed after nature by Jean-Jacques Ernst, and engraved and colored under his supervision. However, from 1785 onwards, it was Maria Eleon Hochecker who prepared most of the plates.

The text was provided by Jacques-Louis Engramelle (1727-1781), an Augustinian friar, musician and naturalist. The skillfully drawn and elaborately engraved hand-colored frontispieces are among the finest in the field of entomological illustration, and equal to those by Hübner, Cramer and Sepp.

Jean-Baptiste-François Gigot d’Orcy (1737-1793) was an important Parisian financier who had the biggest entomological collection of his time. He kept it at his mansion on the Place Vendôme, today the headquarters of Boucheron, that he had purchased for 180,000 pounds in 1780. He financed the Papillons d’Europe as recalled by the dedication of the first volume. At his death, his rich and elegant library was sold at auction (Catalogue des livres de feu citoyen Gigot d’Orcy, Paris, Veuve Tilliard et fils, 1794) and the cabinet of natural history followed ten years later (Catalogue abrégé des minéraux, coquilles, madrépores et autres objets faisant partie du cabinet de feu M. Gigot d’Orcy, Paris, 1804).

REFERENCES : J.-C. Brunet, Manuel du libraire, II, col. 1048-1049 : “ouvrage bien exécuté --Nissen, ZBI, 1300 -- Hagen, I, p. 213 -- Horn-Schenkling 6051 -- sur Gigot d’Orcy, cf. http://histoire-bibliophilie.blogspot.com/2013/03/gigot-dorcy-lentomologiste.html