Aubriet. “Violette Tardive.” From Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau’s Trait des Arbres Fruitiers, contenant leur figure, leur description, leur culture, &c. Paris, 1768. First edition. 10 1/4 x 8 1/2, plate mark. Line engraving. Hand color. Fine condition.
A lovely antique fruit print from an exquisite group of images done during the heyday of French botanical illustration from Duhamel du Monceau’s important work. These elegant cuttings of ripe fruit, seen also in cross section and with their blossoms, were done from drawings by Aubriet, Mlle. Basseport and Le Berriays. They were then engraved by a group carefully picked artists. They are unusual and important for the uncommon talent and care that went into their making. These prints are a fine product of the period when botanical prints were just beginning to come into their own in France, all the more desirable for their rarity as fruit prints of the highest quality. They do indeed live up to their reputation of coming from one of the “finest and rarest books on fruit, with many beautiful plates.” Ref.: Gordon Dunthorne, Flower & Fruit Prints of the 18th and early 19th centuries, p. 192.