Pierre-Antoine Poiteau, Pl. 65 Prunier Damas de Provence, stipple engraving, Pomologie Français, 1838–46
Enjoy special pricing on Pl. 77, Prunier Damas de Provence, a rare stipple engraving from Pierre-Antoine Poiteau’s renowned botanical work Pomologie Français. The draughtsmanship in Poiteau’s graceful composition of this old European variety of plum is exquisite, showing blossom, cross-section of fruit, and a branch in leaf and fruit.
The fruit of Damas de Provence was described in Scott's Orchardist, or catalogue of fruits cultivated at Merriott, Somerset, second edition, 1873:
The fruit is medium size, roundish and marked on one side with a deep suture; skin reddish purple, covered with a blue bloom; flesh yellowish green, sweet and pleasantly flavored, separating from the stone; shoots slightly downy. A baking plum.
Stipple engraving with à la poupée coloring finished by hand. In perfect condition with pristine original color. De l'Imprimerie de Langlois, Bouquet, Sc.; folio size: 17 x 11.625 inches.
$500 this week only (list price $700). Offer expires 8-28-17
Pierre-Antoine Poiteau (1766–1854) was a French botanist, gardener, and botanical artist. During his youth he received some education and apprenticed as a gardener. With the onset of the French Revolution in 1789, gardening positions became scarce and he worked briefly as a farmer and other pursuits. In 1790, Poiteau applied to the Musée Histoire Naturelle in Paris. Upon acceptance there, he studied Linnaeus’ Systema vegetabillium and received botanical drawing instruction from Gerard van Spaëndonk and Pierre-Joseph Redouté. In 1796, Poiteau was appointed to an expedition to study the plants on Santo Domingo (later Haiti). There he met the gifted botanical artist, Pierre Jean Francois Turpin (1775–1840), with whom he became lifelong friends.
During the early 19th century, Poiteau and Turpin collaborated on many important botanical works, together illustrating Duhamel du Monceau’s Traité des Arbres Frutiers, a seminal work on the subject of fruit. Published by Duhamel in Paris in 1768, in 1782 the first colored edition was published with 150 plates designed by Redouté and Bessa. Duhamel’s work introduced a scientific method into pomological descriptions, depicting leaves in their true character for individual varieties of plants where previously one leaf would have been illustrated for all varieties of pears. Poiteau edited the last edition, which was practically a new work, under the name Pomologie Français from 1838–1846. Comprising 433 colored plates in four volumes, this much expanded edition is considered to be one of the finest examples of pomological art. Poiteau, working with Redouté’s printer, Langlois, achieved a superb realistic and tactile quality with Pomologie Français. In 1846, this final version was published in Paris. It is among the last great folios of fine stipple engravings from this era.
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