France or the Low Countries, [ca. 1750] Folio sheet (ca. 32.5 x 21.0 cm). Tipped-in in a recent passe-partout.
This is an original floral drawing in pencil and ink: probably designs for tapestries, wallpaper, murals, or the decoration of wooden panels used in cupboards or other furniture. This drawing is unique in that it includes a flower-spitting dragon. The rendering of the leaves is in Louis XV style, placing these designs in (approximately) the mid-18th century. From a suite of drawings on laid paper, three of which show a watermark with a post horn in a shield and the letters L G V below. This is Gravel SLD.346.1, found on a 1791 Thomas Jefferson letter from Richmond, VA, but doubtlessly originating from the Dutch paper mill of Lubertus Van Gerrevink, worldwide renowned for the quality of his paper. Another sheet bears the watermark IV, which indicates Jean Villedary, a French paper maker. Both watermarks have been used over a considerable period of time but are essentially 18th-century. Some light age-wear, otherwise in very good condition.