Folio (21 x 14 inches). Half-titles, engraved portrait of Redouté by C. S. Pradier after Gerard printed in black on white and on ochre paper, stippled engraved wreath and 169 stipple-engraved plates after Redouté by Bessa, Bessin, Chapuy, Langlois, Victor and others, the plates in 2 states, printed in colors and finished by hand, and in black on ochre paper (some light mostly marginal spotting).Contemporary French quarter green morocco gilt, green mottled boards by Tessier (extremities a bit scuffed, spine of volume one restored at the head and foot).
ONE OF A VERY FEW LARGE-PAPER COPIES WITH THE PLATES IN TWO STATES First edition, bound from the original 30 parts between March 1817 and March 1824, each part containing six plates (except no. 10, which had one plate, and no. 30, which had none).
"Les Roses" was issued in four formats: a large-paper folio with colored plates; a "special issue" of each work with the extra suite of black impressions on ochre paper was apparently bound in very small quantities (Hunt, "Printmaking") (as here); folio with colored plates; and folio with the plates in two states. Commemorating the rose garden of the Empress Josephine, many of the roses having been painted in her garden at Malmaison. The subtle gradations of tone found in Redouté's original watercolors are shown to perfection by the technique of the stipple engraving used to produce these exquisite plates.
Redoute met the renowned and talented engraver Francesco Bartolozzi, on a trip to London and learned that the most successful impressions of stipple engravings came from well-used plates. A number of initial black plates were struck to take the edge off the plate before printing in colors began. Redouté's printers struck black impressions-always on paper with a distinct ochre tint-from the plates for both "Les Roses" and "Les Liliacées".
The botanical descriptions were by Claude Antoine Thory (1759-1827), a civil servant by profession, and an enthusiastic gardener who cultivated his own collection of roses. He and Redouté regularly traded cuttings and seeds. The roses depicted in the work included examples from Thory's own collection as well as from Malmaison. "Redouté and Thory knew, described, and figured almost all the important roses in their day. Included were many of the key ancestors of our present-day roses. The plates in Les Roses have artistic value, and botanical and documentary value, both for the species and cultivars still surviving and for those that have disappeared"
[Sir George Taylor quoting Gisèle de la Roche in the Schutter facsimile, (Antwerp, 1974-78)]. Dunthorne 232; "Great Flower Books" p. 71; Hunt "Redoutéana" 19; Hunt "Printmaking in the Service of Botany" 25; Johnston Cleveland "Herbal" 807; Nisen BBI 1599; Pritzel 7455; Ray "French" 89; Stafleu TL2 9748.