REMBERT, Ferdinand. Les Roses. [Paris]: Léon Curmer, 1861-1863.

$ 240,000.00

3 volumes. 16mo., (5 ¾ x 4 ¾ inches). ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT half-titles and vignette title pages LAVISHLY ILLUMINATED IN GILT AND COLOR. 113 EXQUISITE MINIATURE WATERCOLORS plus frontispieces; 3 engraved plates, original pen sketch and 2 photographic portraits inserted (very occasional offsetting, engraved plates slightly toned). Contemporary red morocco, green morocco gilt doublures, green moiré silk guards, by Marius Michel; red levant chemises and pull-off cases by Hardy-Mennil (chemises worn but holding).

Provenance: With the armorial device of Léon Curmer (1801-1870) in the center and his monogram at head and foot of the doublures, his sale, Paris, 22 May 1874. With the bookplate to verso of front free endpaper of Robert Hoe, his sale, Part IV, Anderson Auction Company, 18 November 1912 (describing a fourth volume). General Brayton Ives, his sale, American Art Association, 6 April 1915. Donated to the Hispanic Society of American in 1955 by Archer M. Huntington (describing only three volumes, as here). Christie's sale 2059, Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana, 5 December 2008.


Manuscript on paper. Includes "Histoire de la Rose" by Edouard Cadol and Delongchamps (1859), with quotations from French poets, written within blue and gold borders. Rembert was a student of Redouté who produced two such manuscripts for Curmer, the present one and "Les Fleurs" (February 1858-1861-3 April 1862). The prefatory page of "Les Fleurs" says of Rembert: "qui pourrait se glorifier d'etre élève de Redouté, s'il n'était lui-même un maître" ("who could boast of being Redouté's student, even if he himself was not a master"). "Les Roses" took two years to make and was described in the Curmer sale catalogue as an "admirable manuscript."

The publisher and bookseller Léon Curmer (1801-1870), who specialized in botanical art, was one of the first publishers to make systematic use of chromolithography to reproduce Medieval illuminated manuscripts in color. He also applied this new and innovative technique to photography. He opened his bookshop in 1833, going bankrupt in 1845 but continuing to publish many works over the next 20 years. He is perhaps best known for his edition of "Paul et Virginie" (1836-1838), one of the most illustrated books of the Romantic period.

Marius Michel (born Henry-François-Victor Michel, 1846-1925) was a French gilder and art binder trained by his father Jean Michel, becoming his partner in 1866 before founding a bindery together in 1876.

"A CHARMING COLLECTION, the text of which is formed by the 'History of the Rose' by Edouard Cadol and Delongchamps, and by poems referring to the Rose. All the paintings were executed by Ferdinand Rembert from specimens furnished by the most celebrated cultivators of roses, and the butterflies and insects were painted after the suggestion of M. Deyrolle. The names of the roses were given by Eugène Verdier and Edouard André" (quoted in the Anderson catalogue: A Catalogue of Manuscripts Forming a Portion of the Library of Robert Hoe, New York: Privately Printed, 1909, p.197).