Lot 394: L'Heritier de Brutelle (Charles) - Geraniologia,
October 27, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: seu erodii, pelargonii, geranii, monsonæ et grieli historia iconibus illustrata, first edition , 44 fine engraved plates, some age-toning and other marking to some plates at margins, first plate slightly soiled, but overall the actual impressions are clean, title detached with dust-soiling, creasing and chipped at edges, one plate with closed tears at fore-edge margin, ?original marbled boards, covers loose and badly worn, lacking spine and previous corners, [An Oak Spring Flora 57; Nissen BBI 1188; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 4494], folio, Paris, Didot for L.N. Prevost and T. Barrois; London, P. Elmsly; Vienna, R. Graeffer and Strasburg, A. Koenig, 1787-88 . L'Héritier de Brutelle (1746-1800), 18th-century French botanist and magistrate. This splendid work features engravings by L'Héritier after paintings of Redouté and Sowerby, whose careers he had helped develop, but the plates were left uncoloured as he felt that "if his engravings were coloured, much of the sharpness and precision would be lost. The plates by Sowerby and Redoute are particularly fine, and provide us with an example of the early work of these two botanical illustrators, when they were still under the influence of the great French tradition established by Robert" ( An Oak Spring Flora ). The work was sadly never fully realised, cut short by the French Revolution in circa 1792.