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[A Group of Six Tulips].

Collection coloriée des plus belles variétés de Tulipes qu'on cultive dans les Jardins des Fleuristes.

Stock Code 101403

Paris, the Author, 1781

Original price $11,939.00 - Original price $11,939.00
Original price $0.00
$11,939.00 - $11,939.00
Current price $11,939.00
A fine group of these rare flower plates, the complete volume of 40 being part of Le Jardin d'Eden, which was intended as the supplement to the Collection des Fleurs de la Chine & de l'Europe, first published in 1776.

The second half of the eighteenth century saw a boom in natural history publications in France fuelled by such works as Buffon's Histoire Naturelle. The accession of Louis XVI in 1774 was followed by a relaxation in the regulation of the book trade making it easier for authors to publish their own works. No other writer was to take such copious advantage of these two developments as Pierre-Joseph Buchoz (1731-1807), a French physician, lawyer and naturalist. His works are characterised by the beauty of the illustrations, and their rarity owing to the small size of the print runs.

The final tulip plate is identified as the legendary broken flame-patterned flower 'Semper Augustus', bulbs of which were recorded as having reached prices of up to 10,000 Guilders at the height of Tulipmania in 1637, although even before this time bulbs of this particular flower had been valued at 5,500 Guilders.

We are grateful to Polly Nicholson, author of The Tulip Garden, and holder of the national historic tulips collection, for providing more details on the individual tulips described:
The tulips illustrated by Pierre Joseph Buchoz in these beautifully observed engravings are examples of rectified, or broken tulips that caused the famed period known as Tulipmania in the Netherlands between 1634-1637. From the start of the seventeenth century tulips started to change hands in the form of promissory notes, traded in taverns with prices rising to spectacular levels before the economic bubble burst at a Haarlem auction in 1637. The 'breaking' was caused by a potyvirus called Tulip Breaking Virus, but this was not discovered until 1927 when Lady Dorothy Cayley was able to examine the tulips under a microscope at the John Innes Institute, determining that it was aphids, rather than alchemy, that brought about the miraculous changes.

None of these individual tulips shown by Buchoz are still in existence, but I have many similar examples in my National Collection of tulipa (historic) at Blacklands in Wiltshire, including the flamed red and white T. 'Silver Standard' dating from 1760, and the mahogany and primrose yellow T. 'Absalon' dating from 1780.

6 hand-coloured engraved plates of tulips, in matching silver leaf frames; dimensions: 34.6cm by 48.5cm.

Cleveland Collections 541 (GC copy this copy); Dunthorne 66 and 65; Great Flower Books, p.52; Hunt 565; Nissen BBI 280 and 279 (calls mistakenly for 60 and 40 plates); Pritzel 1330.

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[A Group of Six Tulips].

BUCHOZ, Pierre Joseph.

Stock code: 101403



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