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DESENFANS, Noel Joseph (1745--1807)
[Descriptive catalogue. 1801]

A descriptive catalogue (with remarks and anecdotes never before published in English) of some pictures, of the different schools, purchased for His Majesty the late King of Poland; which will be exhibited early in 1802, at the Great Room, no. 3, in Berners-Street, ... By Noel Desenfans, Esq. ...
London: printed by Exton. May be had of Cadell and Davies; and Hookham, 1801 [i.e. 1802?].
2 vols ; 19.5 cm. (8º)
I: [4], 178, [2] p.
II: [2], 260, [ 2] p.

In 1790 Desenfans, a picture-dealer of Belgian origin, was commissioned by Stanislaus, King of Poland to collect pictures in England - where there had been an influx of works of art following the French Revolution - for a Polish national collection. After the fall of Stanislaus in 1795, and the refusal of Russia to disgorge the deposed King's debts, Desenfans offered the collection first to the British government (in connection with his 1799 Plan for a "National Gallery", q.v.); then to the general public by means of the present exhibition; and, finally, put the entire collection up for auction on 16 March (q.v.), though not without some hefty reserves. According to Fredericksen this edition was published in January 1802 (Index of paintings, I, p.16). With a final leaf of errata in each volume.

Copy Notes Inserted in vol. II is an undated letter from Desenfans at Charlotte Street presenting Soane with this Catalogue he has just published.

Binding Half maroon roan, marbled-paper boards, gilt double-rule spine.

Reference Number 2085


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