Papillons exotiques des trois parties du monde l’Asie, l’Afrique et l’Amérique. [&] Supplément à l’ouvrage Papillons exotiques…
5 volumes in-4º (29,3 x 24 cm); full contemporary red morocco (for the first 4 volumes), spines with five richly decorated bands, titles, tomaison and provenance in green morocco, gilt filleting on the boards and on the edges, gilt inner lace, all edges gilt, pastiche binding in the same style for the 5th volume (supplement).
Provenance: from the Athenaeum library of Liverpool. Text on two columns.
Pieter Cramer (1721-1776) was a Dutch merchant and entomologist. Passionate about insects, this Spanish wool merchant built up an important collection, especially of butterflies, from Dutch traders and settlers in Suriname. Wishing to publish the rarest pieces of his collection, Cramer called upon Gerrit Wartenaar Lambertz who painted more than 1650 specimens of his collection as well as those drawn from the richest collections of the Amateurs in Holland, who, "as soon as they learned of my design, their love for the Arts opened their Cabinets to me & provided a vast field to the brush of my Artist; the rarest pieces of the two Indies; all that Asia, Africa & America have of more beautiful & of unique was joined together in my Cabinet". With the help of the entomologist Caspar Stoll and the booksellers S. J. Baalde of Amsteldam and J. van Schoonhoven of Utrecht, who took care of the publication at their own expense, the first volumes appeared in 1775.
Cramer died in 1776, long before the publication was completed. Caspar Stoll took over (he is the author of the last part of the 4th volume with his Essai d'un ordre systématique des insectes à ailes farineuses lepidopterae represented in the four volumes of this work) and published a supplement on the caterpillars and chrysalids of Suriname in 1791. Published in 34 fascicles in 4 volumes from 1775 to 1782, this important history of entomology, abundantly described and superbly illustrated, is the first book on exotic butterflies arranged according to the new system developed by Carl von Linné (1707-1778). It is enriched here with its supplement published in 1791. In total, the superb and abundant illustration includes 2 frontispieces engraved by Th. Koning after J. Buys, one of which is enhanced in colors, a title engraved by C.J. de Huyser enhanced in colors, and 442 superb plates (42 of which are for the supplement) representing more than 1650 life-size specimens, drawn on the originals by Lambert, engraved and illuminated under the direction of Pierre Cramer. "These notebooks are of the greatest beauty" (Journal de politique et de littérature, n°8, Tome 1, Bruxelles 1776)
Well complete with the 10 titles, one of which is engraved and enhanced in color, and the two underwriters' leaves. Graesse II, 294; Cohen, 262; Brunet, II, 404; Nissen 985; Quérard II, 329