VARIN, Amédée. Papillons Metamorphoses Terrestres des Peuples de L'Air. Two volumes. , 232, ; , 258,  pp., illustrated with 35 hand-coloured engraved plates, including frontispieces and title-page plates, and with the portrait Cazotte opposite vol. II, p. 152, not included in the list of plates. 8vo, 262 x 175 mm., bound in publisher's polychrome bindings depicting Varin decorations and illustrated vignettes. Paris: Gabriel de Gonet, 1852.
First edition, with points: "1852" on next to the printer's name "De Soye" at the end of both volumes. One of the most marvelously surreal butterfly books, Varin's Papillons is a potpourri of fantasy, imagination and humour. The 35 hand-coloured plates of anthropomorphic butterflies, rendered in the vein of Grandville by Amédée Varin (1818-1883) are brilliantly conceived and executed.
The text by Nus and Meray includes a chapter entitled "La Vestale du Rio Colorado" and features a hand-coloured image of a tattooed Native American brave butterfly. A very fine copy in the rare polychrome binding; the hand-coloured Varin engravings with particularly careful colouring.
Vicaire VI, 246-7. Brivois 315.
Item nr. 167496