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CONCHOLOGY. Watercolour illustrations of shells on vellum, [France, probably Paris], 1842-4 and n.d.

Archive
Estimate: £30,000 - £40,000
ca. US$39,431 - US$52,575
Price realised:  £43,750
ca. US$57,504
Lot number 27, Views: 11

CONCHOLOGY. Watercolour illustrations of shells on vellum, [France, probably Paris], 1842-4 and n.d. 39 vellum leaves, 440 x 337mm, watercolour with fixative, the drawings occasionally in monochrome, a small number of drawings left at a preparatory stage, borders outlined in gilt, nomenclature added in pencil to some watercolours including Delessert and Sowerby references, pencil numbering at bottom right of most leaves, 32 of the leaves with artist attributions as follows: Vaillant (4), Jacquemart (8), Delahaye (2), J. Delarue (7), Estelle Dupré (2), V. Chenu (2), Thiolat (2), Armandes Cappes (2), A. Prévost, 7 of the leaves unattributed and sometimes without the gilt bordering. 20th-century half-morocco portfolio; marbled-paper box (in pieces). A series of 19th-century French watercolour illustrations of shells, notable for their very fine execution and extraordinary clarity of observation: these beautiful illustrations were completed in 1842-44, during the Golden Age of French botanical and zoological publishing. Perhaps prepared in association with Jean-Charles Chenu’s magisterial Illustrations conchyliologiques (Paris: A. Frank, Libraire), published in 85 issues between 1842 and 1854, in which Chenu presented hundreds of newly-discovered and lesser-known shells. The illustrators listed in the present collection would have collaborated on similar projects before: Auguste Nicolas Vaillant (1793-1858) and Charles Delahaye (active 1841-1852) are known to have contributed to Fortuné Eydoux’s Zoologie (Paris, A. Bertrand, 1841-52), while the names of Albert Jacquemart (1808-1875) and Jean Delarue (active 1838-1846) appear in further zoological publications of the 1840s.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Christie's
Title: Important Books, Atlases, Globes & Scientific Instruments from the Collection of Nico and Nanni Israel
Date of the auction: 11 Dec 2019
Address: Christie's
London