Java's mysterious nature, never depicted more convincingly

Salm, A.

Java. Naar schilderijen en teekeningen van A. Salm, lid der Koninklijke Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten te Amsterdam. Op steen gebracht door J. C. Greive, Jr.

Published 1865-1872
Item ID 76579

excl. VAT

Amsterdam, Frans Buffa & Zonen, [1865]-1872. Folio (64.0 x 48.0 cm). Title page in red and black. 24 fine chromolithographed plates, finished by hand and heightened with gom arabic, mounted on larger sheets, and each with an original, small, printed caption mounted. Original green grained cloth portfolio with gilt title on the front board. A second, smaller, duplicating title-index leaf on thick paper, also printed in red and black (43.0 x 28.3 cm) loosely inserted.

The self-taught draughtsman and painter Abram "Ab" Salm (1801-1876) spent nearly thirty years on Java as a tobacco planter. Salm was a member of the Koninklijke Academie der Beeldende Kunsten (Royal Academy of Arts). His paintings - arguably the most beautiful 19th-century images of the perplexingly rich and varied Javanese landscape - caught the attention of the Amsterdam art dealers and publishers Pierre Beguin and Alberto Caramelli, who commissioned a renowned Dutch artist, Johan Conrad Greive (1837-1891) to engrave Salm's paintings. In 1836, Beguin and Caramelli purchased the firm Frans Buffa en Zonen from Jan and Bastiaan Buffa, sons of the art dealer of Italian descent, Frans Buffa, who founded the firm in Amsterdam in 1790. "This is one of Buffa's most beautiful publications" (Landwehr). The index calls for 24 numbered plates. All are present. The work was priced at an astonishing 96 Dutch florins. A plain edition was offered too. Both are exceedingly rare, especially when complete. We found only four auction records. Old mounts replaced by museum-standard acid free cardboard supports, the plates delicately tipped in at corners. Some mild foxing to the title and a few plates; otherwise wonderfully clean. A superb copy. Bastin & Brommer, pp. 44-45; Landwehr, 421.

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