Signed with monogram in pen and grey ink ‘PH fe’ [left hand margin]
Black chalk, pen and grey ink and watercolour, pen and brown ink framing lines
149 x 181 mm. (5 7/8 x 7 1/4 in.)
Frame and matt, outside edges: 13 x 15 1/2 inches
Condition: The drawing is not laid down, it is hinged in the upper margin with conservation tape onto a conservation board, and the bespoke mount is hand coloured. There is a modern pencil inscription on the verso ‘P Holsteyn’ and bears the collectors stamp of Kraam on the verso
Pieter Holsteyn the younger was born in Haarlem 1614. He trained under his father Pieter Holsteyn the elder, and worked on paper, canvas, glass and vellum as well as producing engraved portraits. In 1662 he became a member of St Luke’s Guild, a city guild for painters and other artists. The present drawing is a characteristic example of the artists work, and many works have been on the market in recent years1. They are often of insects, plants and animals and illustrate the interest in natural history of the time. A number of his plant and insect studies are in the collection of the Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library.
The collectors stamp on the verso of this drawing is that of Christiaan Kraam (1797-1875), his mark appears on Dutch prints. There is a carved portrait of the collector by J. W. Kaiser, location unknown. It is interesting to note that there was an auction of his collection on 30 November in 1937 in Amsterdam held by T. Born and consisted of his prints and drawings2, it possible that this drawing was included in this sale.
1.The Unicorno Collection, Sothebys Amsterdam, 19 May 2004, lots 123-125.
2.I would like to thank Rhea Blok for identifying the provenance.