536. [Dutch school]
VAN BRAAM HOUCKGEEST, Andreas Everardus
Drawing: 16 x 20,2 cm, brown ink and watercolour, on laid paper, signed and dated.
Laid down under passe-partout.
Original design drawing of a bird's nest by the Dutch-American merchant A.E. van Braam Houckgeest (1739 - 1801). Mostly known for his participation in the last Dutch embassy to China, he made this drawing after returning to Zutphen, but before emigrating to Charleston where he became a merchant and rice planter from 1783 onwards. Van Braam was later on also the author of "Voyage de l'ambassade de la Compagnie des Indes orientales hollandaises, vers l'empereur de la Chine, dans les années 1794 et 1795 [...]". The bird's nest represented is made by of a kind of wagtail, a small bird living in the Chinese province of Guangzhou (Kanton). According to the handwritten notes, the little bird uses self-spun woollen threads to sew together leaves of the grapefruit tree and then, it fills the nest with coton and lays the eggs in it. The drawing was later printed in J.F. Martinet's "Katechismus der natuur"; together with J.F. Martinet Van Braam founded an economical branch for the "Hollandse Maatschappij voor Wetenschappen".
Ref. Van Braam Houckgeest, J. P.W. A. "Leven En Bedrijf Van Andreas Everardus Van Braam Houckgeest (1739-1801)". Bulletin Van Het Rijksmuseum, vol. 35, no. 1, 1987, pp. 22–31. - J.F. Martinet, Katechismus der natuur, vol. ii, p.194.
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