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[A Group of Four Tulips].

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

Stock Code 101441

Paris, the Author, 1781

Original price $7,964.00 - Original price $7,964.00
Original price $0.00
$7,964.00 - $7,964.00
Current price $7,964.00
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:
These striking tulips by Pierre Joseph Buchoz are all variations of the 'bizarre' colourway popular in the eighteenth century, with shades of red, deep pink and brown arranged over a yellow base colour. They are shown fully open, in order that the flamed and feathered markings can be best appreciated; these are all examples of 'flames' where the overlying, darker red tones flicker up the midribs of the petals and radiate around the edges.

Tulips had been selectively bred for over 200 years by the time these engravings were created, and the skill of the 'florists' (meaning specialist flower growers, as opposed to the modern-day definition of flower arrangers) is demonstrated by the extraordinary symmetry of the markings and the lustrous shine on the petals. Similar examples can be seen in our collection at Blacklands, where we hold National Garden Scheme open days in April each year (see under Blackland House).

4 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 Four Tulips].

BUCHOZ, Pierre Joseph.

Stock code: 101441



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