BOTANY – ROUX, Laure. Bound manuscript, “Histoire Naturelle, Botanique.” France c.1850.

31 leaves, 384 x 290mm. Painted calligraphic title with gold highlights and two vignettes of flowers, and 15 full-page watercolor drawings of flowers and plants mounted on guards, each preceded by a leaf of text in manuscript describing the flower or plant and its classification (occasional light spotting). Contemporary French brown morocco, silk endpapers, all edges gilt, with initials “L.R.” blind-stamped on front cover and gilt-stamped gothic device with caption “Maison des Oiseaux” on back cover; in pebbled paper-covered cardboard slipcase (binding and slipcase lightly rubbed).

Attractive album of botanical watercolors, focusing on the dicotyledons, or dicots—one of the two groups into which all the flowering plants were formerly divided. The other group of flowering plants were called monocotyledons, or monocots. One watercolor is given for each of the 15 classes which comprised dicotyledons in mid-19th century botanical classification: acotyledon, monocotyledon, epistaminy, etc. The author, Laure Roux—apparently associated with an estate intriguingly dubbed the “Maison des Oiseaux” on the binding—remains unknown.
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