Lot 5
  • 5

Merian, Maria Sybilla

Estimate
80,000 - 120,000 GBP
Sold
93,750 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium ofte Verandering der Surinaamsche Insecten. Amsterdam: for the author [1705]
  • paper
FIRST EDITION, Dutch text issue, folio (513 x 350mm.), 60 hand-coloured engraved plates by J. Mulder, J.P. Sluyter and J. Stoopendaal, after Merian, contemporary Dutch speckled calf gilt, central arabesque with two gilt borders of foliate motifs, drawer-handle and fleuron cornerpieces, spine gilt in nine compartments, lettered in one, occasional slight spotting, binding rubbed with some wear to extremities

Provenance

Maurits Fortuin, early ownership signature on front paste-down

Literature

Dunthorne 205; Great Flower Books, p.67; Landwehr 128; Nissen BBI 1341

Catalogue Note

THE RARE FIRST EDITION OF PERHAPS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WORK ON INSECTS AND FLOWERS.

Maria Sibylla Merian was the daughter of the well-known Swiss engraver and publisher Matthäus Merian. On her father’s early death, her Dutch mother married the flower painter Jacob Marrell. It was one of his pupils, Johann Graff of Nuremberg, who first taught Maria to paint, and later they married. Maria was primarily interested in entomology, and her first book, on the insects of Europe, with fine coloured plates of insects and flowers, was published in 1679. Some years later she was shown a collection of tropical insects which had been brought back from Surinam. This inspired her, and together with her daughter Dorothea, she embarked on a remarkably enterprising journey to South America, arriving in September 1699. They stayed for nearly two years studying and recording the plants and insects, the results of their labours being the magnificent Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium.

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