Superb collection of 90 full-page engravings in first issue, entirely illuminated at the time made by the Bonnart brothers, by Mariette and by Martin Engelbrecht.
“One describes under the name “recueils Bonnart” some engravings’ collections published in the last quarter of the 17th century by a family of engravers and engraving sellers, the Bonnarts.
These engravings were published at the time, either singly, or in series. Thus it is impossible to provide an exact list.
“The Bonnart editors of fashion engravings, of which they were the engravers if needed, were four brothers, sons of Henry dead towards 1682. We don’t know if these brothers were competitors, but the style and size of the engravings published by them are quite similar, which allowed to compile them in order to create more or less important sets composed of engravings bearing the signatures: Bonnart, R.B. dol (Robert Bonnart), H.B. (Henry Bonnart), I.B.F. (Jean-Baptiste Bonnart); these plates have been published in quires or separately in such a way that it is impossible to give an exact list, especially as other engravings of the same kind published by engravers-editors such as I.D. de Saint-Jean, Nicolas Arnoult, Lepautre, Nicolas Bazin, Berey, Trouvain,…, are usually added.”
“These collections of engravings are of the greatest interest for the knowledge of costume and fashion under Louis XIV’s reign; they represent the great names of the court, the army, the judicial authorities or the church.
Many are real fashion engravings and can be quoted as the prototypes of the magnificent collections published in the 18th century”.
Colas, Bibliographie générale du costume et de la mode, 379.
Bonnart’s engravings are dedicated to European sovereigns and princesses in ceremonial clothes and dresses:
La Reine de France, Marie-Leczinska, la Reine, L’Infante d’Espagne, l’Impératrice d’Autriche, la grande Sultane, la Reine du Portugal, la Reine du Danemark, la Reine de Suède, la Princesse Palatine, les Duchesses de Bourbon, de Savoie, du Maine, de Lorraine, d’Orléans, de Vendôme, la Princesse de Conté, la Princesse de Galles, la Duchesse de Bavière, la Reine de Prusse, la Princesse de Galles, la Duchesse de Bavière, la Reine de Prusse, la Princesse de Moscovie…
Some of the engravings are dedicated to actresses of the time: Mademoiselle de Subligny, Opera dancer, Mademoiselle des Matines, Opera dancer and singer, Marinette dressed as Bradamante.
The collection ends on a series of 6 engravings by Engelbrecht depicting various feminine occupations: embroiderer, lace maker, tailor, knitting worker, artist-painter, cook.
All these engravings have been brilliantly watercolored at the time and many of them were enhanced with gold and silver.
In the background of the European sovereigns emerge formal gardens or antique monuments.