Item #5000746 Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique" Valentine Girard DU DEMAINE, later Marquise d'Espagnet.
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".

Natural History albums, "Zoologie" and "Botanique".
Natural History albums, entititled "Histoire naturelle. Zoologie", and "Histoire naturelle. Botanique".

Avignon, France: 1849.

Two volumes, folio, illustrated manuscripts containing forty two original watercolours, in the original bindings of green quarter calf, initials gilt on front covers.

Kangaroo and platypus centre stage in a glorious illustrated manuscript

Two lavishly illustrated manuscripts on zoology and botany, with illuminated title pages and gold highlighting throughout. The artist was Valentine du Demaine of Avignon; her highly finished work dates from before her marriage to the Marquis d'Espagnet.

Two lavishly illustrated manuscripts on zoology and botany, with illuminated title pages and gold highlighting throughout. The artist was Valentine du Demaine of Avignon; her highly finished work dates from before her marriage to the Marquis d'Espagnet.

The two volumes contain forty two original paintings with descriptive text; volume one is devoted to zoology and includes many exotic animals including the kangaroo and the platypus. There are eight mammals, six birds, four reptiles, two fish, two molluscs, three insects, and two invertebrates, each of which is beautifully depicted with a calligraphic descriptive text below. Volume two is devoted to botany with fifteen full page watercolours, their descriptive text on facing pages.

These original watercolours in their finely bound folios are of outstanding delicacy and possess a jewel-like quality. They were clearly painted by an accomplished artist with a strong understanding of natural history. The manuscript title page is dated 1849; each volume carries the artist's initials "V.D." on the front cover. The Espagnet family, into which Valentine du Demaine married in 1856, own the Château de Porcieux with its vineyard in Provence.

These superb manuscripts are a very fine example of the elevated position cultural and scientific studies, including natural history, held in Europe in the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth century. Both the English and French exploratory voyages brought back exotic animals and plants; stories of newly discovered lands in the Far East, the Pacific, the Americas and Africa entranced the elite and educated classes. While publishers produced beautifully illustrated books to meet this burgeoning interest, private interest was represented by such rare example as this. Clearly, Valentine Du Demand, a most accomplished artist, was at the pinnacle of talented French bourgeois ladies painting in the 1840s.

Provenance: Jean-Paul Morin (with bookplate, sold Pierre Bergé Auctions, catalogue Voyages, Explorations, I, 2011).

Condition Report: Beautiful condition.

Price (AUD): $24,000.00

US$16,723.36   Other currencies

Ref: #5000746

Condition Report