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Lot n° 13

CLAESZ. COLLECTION OF FLOWERS painted from life...

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CLAESZ. COLLECTION OF FLOWERS painted from life on parchment. Small folio, in ff. in an eighteenth-century blue morocco box-binding, wide rocaille lace with small irons and fleurdelisé around the boards, coat of arms in the center, ornate and fleurdelisé spine, inner lace, false gilt edges, clasps. PRECIOUS COLLECTION OF FIFTY-EIGHT ORIGINAL GOUACHES, EXECUTED IN HOLLAND IN THE MID-SEVENTEENTH CENTURY AND PRESENTED TO LOUIS XVI IN THE FOLLOWING CENTURY. (probably on the occasion of the birth of the dauphin). These gouaches of exceptional quality, both documentary and artistic, mostly depict tulips in their natural state, others onion blossoms: daffodils, narcissi, lilies or irises. Each painting depicts two, three or four flowers. One of the gouaches is signed Anthony Claesz and dated 1647. Anthony Claesz was a renowned painter of flowers, originally from Amsterdam; six gouaches are unsigned; two are signed A. C. F. (Anthony Claesz) and are dated 1651 and 1654; twenty are monogrammed C. H., one dated 1653; four are signed K, eight M E. B. and two C. L.; finally, fourteen bear the monogram T. H., possibly that of Anthony Claesz under his Dutch first name of Theunis. (1 plate with consolidated marginal tear on verso, qqs. plates stained in corners. corners). All these gouaches, by different hands, offer a remarkable unity of style. Their confident, elegant execution and botanical truth make them similar to Dutch masterpieces of flower painting, as well as to the Museum's famous vellum paintings. Wilfrid Blunt, in The art of botanical illustration, does not mention any of these monograms, nor the name of Anthony Claesz; however, this suite should be compared with the famous compositions by Ambroise Bosschaert, Daniel Seghers, Jacob Marell or Marie Sibylle Merck. Marell or Marie Sibylle Merian, masters of this type of painting in the seventeenth century. This collection of 58 plates was assembled in the eighteenth century in a folder bearing the title Collection de Fleurs peintes d'après nature sur parchemin par Anthony Claessel hollandais en 1647, calligraphied in an engraved and colored frame, dated 1780. It has been placed in a box-binding probably by by DEROME; the lacework on the boards is extremely rich and admirably well executed. The corners feature a small motif depicting a crowned child, seated naked and playing a trumpet; the ARMOIRIES OF LOUIS XVI in the middle of the boards testify to the royal provenance of this collection. UNIQUE PIECE OF EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY, PERFECTLY PERFECTLY PRESERVED. From the library of the Princes of Lichtenstein. Featured in catalog No. 54 of the Pierre Bérès bookshop: Beaux livres des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles (1949).

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