price: U.S. $5,500


19th Century

A Red Howler and a Common Langur
a pair of drawings

pencil underdrawing, watercolor and gouache on heavy paper. each 9 x 6 7/8" (229 x 173mm). inscription on the red howler: Hurleur ourso... van du cresil (?) and on the langur: Somnopitheque Noitre, male. Semnop. Noitratus, null & sekley. dresbitis nitraa Esck. Semno comatus. Desm. di Java. 1/6 de nat. (?).

David K. E. Bruce (1898 - 1977) U.S. Diplomat and Politician

These charming and excellent studies were most likely preparatory for engraved illustrations in a book on monkeys. The scientific names of the langur appear in several languages, along with the specification that it is found in Java. The scientific identification of all types of animals and plants in the natural world indicates the depth of exploration and curiosity of the natural world that since the 18th century been a great human endeavor. That images of monkeys have been particularly popular at times is understandable. Beyond their human qualities, monkeys like these have the variety in fur that our beloved dogs have and distinctive personalities as well.