COURONNE DE FLORE Mélanges De Poésie Et De Prose.
Paris: Louis Janet, n.d. ( ca. 1837). A beautifully hand-colored edition of a very scarce book - this version rare, indeed. This “gift book” was offered by its publisher to accompany a rare series of coloured lithographs entitled LA NAISSANCE DES FLEURS. It comprises brief essays and poetry on individual flowers by early nineteenth century French women writers - and Jules Baget and Mrs. Hemans - and is embellished with four exquisitely hand watercoloured lithographed plates from drawings by Pierre Joseph Redouté, Lucy de Beaurepaire, Olympe Arson and Jules Dumas. A. Roulliet was the lithographer. The selection opens with Jules Baget’s poem entitled “La Naissance Des Fleurs” in which he praises artists, Redouté in particular, for their ability to preserve the fleeting beauty of flowers by their art. Madame La Comtesse de Brade writes on the history and lore of the tulip, the violet, the apple and the lily, while other contributors offer poems to individual flowers. Each water-coloured lithographed plate marks a season represented by a flower or flower bouquet surrounded by a decoratively printed hand- coloured border. The lettering of the title page is also hand-coloured. In 1837, Fleury Chavant published LA COURRONE DE FLORE (Vicaire p. 1044) which resembles this title in every respect but for the publisher, and the title page. Fleury Chavant’s ads for lithographic work, noting this title, are included at the end of the text. In the Fleury Chavant imprint, the title page informs the reader that the book is designed to accompany LA NAISSANCE DES FLEURS, a series of 50 sheets imprinted with designs of flower drawings and poetry, but this is an elusive piece noted only as “original art “ in Bnf. As Louis Janet was famous for his production of gift books, we surmise this was an initial effort to produce one from the Fleury Chavant plates lithographed in blue. The plain silk-paper over boards binding here could possibly have been prepared for a decorative slipcover or box. We have located no copies with the Janet imprint in OCLC, COPAC, the European Catalogue or CCFr. 18 mo (16.4 x 10.5 cm);143 pp with hand-coloring on half title and title page;7 pp. ads included, all text printed in blue ink, with blue printed borders +4 hand-colored full page lithographed illustrations with tissue guards.
Original cream silk-covered paper over boards, without impression, with very small tear at spine head mended, light hand-soiling a.e.g; moire patterned endpapers; light to moderate foxing throughout, but plates unblemished.
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