ITALIAN BUTTERFLY AND INSECT COLLECTION. A Collection of 4 albums of Entomological Specimens assembled by an Italian Amateur.
A Collection of 4 albums of Entomological Specimens assembled by an Italian Amateur.
4 volumes comprising two in folio (15 3/4 x 11 3/4 in.) and two in oblong 4to., (8 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.).
Each volume fronted with a photograph of a microscopic specimen, captioned and set in a ruled border, 3 watercolor frontispieces and one watercolor sectional divider, depicting butterflies set in a landscape or birds swooping on insects, 2155 mounted specimens, the wings of the insects set on thin paper, the abdomens, heads and antenna all painted in watercolor on 218 leaves, the specimens of butterflies and moths mostly arranged as pairs showing dorsal and ventral views of the insect, all labelled in Italian in pencil or ink, and marked with an ‘autori’ letter (source of the name ), a manuscript leaf is bound in each of the folio volumes with an index of the ‘autori’(tissue guards and some margins slightly spotted, some gum marks slightly browned). Mid 20th century Italian half morocco, spines lettered ‘Raccolta Farfalle’, with book sellers label C P J Van Der Veet, Amsterdam (corners of binding bumped, spines chipped at head, one joint cracked).
A MAGNIFICENT COLLECTION OF LEPIDOPTERA, PRINCIPALLY FLYING INSECTS, BOTH COMMONPLACE AND EXOTIC, EACH A LIFE-SIZE WATERCOLOR WITH SPECIMEN WINGS, collected and painted by an unrecorded Italian collector in the late 19th century.
The two folio albums constitute 962 specimen watercolors of butterflies and moths , all ( but a few) set as pairs showing dorsal and ventral views, all with bodies in watercolor and wings laid on thin tissue and mounted on the watercolor. The two 4to albums comprise a further 293 watercolors of other flying insects, such as beetles, flies, gnats, dragon flies and mosquitoes, wings similarly mounted. An extraordinary labor of love by a knowledgeable collector and gifted amateur artist, these albums include many exotic butterflies, moths and insects from Asia, the Americas as well as from Europe. The quality of the workmanship of these albums is remarkable, the artistry of the drawing and the placement of the wings very carefully executed.
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