Abbé Laurent Berlèse, Pl. 1 Camellia Derbiana, stipple engraving, Iconographie du Camellia, 1839–43
Enjoy special pricing on Plate 1 Camellia Derbiana, a stunning original stipple engraving from Iconographie du Genre Camellias, or Description and Figures of the Most Beautiful and Rarest Camellias; Painted after Nature in the Greenhouses and Under the direction of the Abbot, Mr. Berlèse, by J.-J. Jung, 1839–43.
A large red, semi-double variety, Camellia Derbiana is an English hybrid variety of Camellia japonica. In an excerpt from Berlèse’s text for this plate (translated from the French), he lists some of it's identifying physical attributes and offers advice on how to care for it. Among the distinguishing characteristics Berlèse mentions are “... flower[s] of eleven to thirteen centimeters in diameter (according to the strength and vigor of the plant), double, of a glossy red carmine verging toward vermilion, nuances which produce a marvelous effect.
It is one of the beautiful varieties of the genus either by its glossy vegetation, by the size of its foliage, or regularity and beautiful coloring of its flower. This camellia loves water in all seasons, and in summer the most complete shade, the open area and the shelter of the northern winds. If it is treated differently, its leaves begin to change color, the flowering languishes, and the plant falls ill in the long run.”
$975 this week only (list price $1,800). Offer expires 1-15-17.
The most important and definitive work on camellias, Iconographie du Genre Camellia ou Description et Figures des Camellia Les Plus Beaux et Les Plus Rares depicts 300 varieties of camellias grown in the gardens and hothouses of Lorenzo Berlèse (1784–1863), a wealthy Italian abbot. Born in Campo Molino, north Italy, for most of his career, Abbé Laurent Berlèse worked in France where he studied, cultivated, and wrote about camellias, and also published this folio. Berlèse’s interest led him to become the greatest 19th-century scholar on the subject of camellias.
Camellias reached their peak in popularity in Europe between 1825 and 1870, during which time an enormous number of the seedlings obtained by crossing variants of Camellia japonica were raised and named, primarily by the Abbé Berlèse and two Belgian nurserymen.
Drawings for these extremely rare, fine stipple engravings were made by the German artist Johann Jakob Jung (1819–1844). After he began to work on his drawings of camellias for Berlèse, Jung submitted a watercolor of a camellia to the Société d’Horticulture in Paris. They praised his work for “l’exactitude et la beauté d’exécution”, and elected him to the Société in 1839.
Engraved by Dumenil, Gabriel and Oudet, the plates were printed in Paris by N. Rémond between 1839 and 1843. The subtlety and coloring of these plates is comparable in many ways to Redouté’s Les Roses. Beautiful in groupings of four, six, or eight images, the camellias vary in color from ruby red to pink, white, and variegated.
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