TREW, Christoph Jakob (1695-1769)
Corona Imperialis III, Orange Kron [Crown Imperial Fritillary]
[Pl. 66] Nuremberg: [no date but circa 1750-1762]. Etching, with engraving, coloured by hand, by A.L. Wirsing, after J.C. Keller. Very good condition apart from some overall light soiling. Sheet size: 21 3/8 x 14 7/8 inches. Plate mark: 15 7/8 x 11 1/2 inches.
A very fine image from the work described by Dunthorne as 'one of the finest records of the cultivated flowers of the period' and by Blunt (p. 166) as 'one of the most decorative florilegia of the mid-eighteenth century.' A complete copy of this work sold for almost $1,000,000 in London in 2002.
The great characteristic of this beautiful plate, from Trew's Hortus Nitidissimus, is the way in which the watercolour and bodycolour painting almost entirely eclipses the engraved lines. Although the work was actually started by Johann Michael Seligmann (1720-1762), the engravings were based on the collection of flower drawings owned by the botanist and bibliophile Christoph Trew, a distinguished physician of Nuremberg. Georg Ehret (1708-1770), who enjoyed Trew's patronage from 1732 and traveled widely on his behalf before settling in London in 1736, produced the designs for 40 of the eventual total of 188 plates. The remainder were drawn up by a team of local artists, including J.C. Keller, Professor of Drawing at Erlangen University, the court painter Nikolaus Eisenberger, and A.L. Wirsing.
Cf. Brunet V, 943; cf. Dunthorne 310; cf.Great Flower Books (1990) p. 144; cf. Harvard Arnold, p. 700; cf. Johnston Cleveland 493; cf. Nissen BBI 1995; cf. Pritzel 9500.