Spécies Général et Iconographie des Coquilles Vivantes, comprenant la collection du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris, la collection Lamarck, celle du Prince Masséna et les découvertes récentes des Voyageurs.

Eur 16,000 / USD 17,600
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Paris, Rousseau/ Baillière, (1834)-1880. 11 volumes. Royal-8vo (240 x 155mm). With 903 fine hand-coloured engraved plates. Later half blue calf, spines with gilt lettering

one of the most beautiful shell books ever made

A fine copy of one of the most beautiful shell books ever made, illustrated with handcoloured engravings. Kiener made use of the famous Delessert collection and that of the Natural History Museum of Paris, together the largest and most varied fund of conchological material on the continent. "He soon put it to good use; and in 1834 he published the first part of his 'Spécies ...' This exquisitely illustrated iconography, started before the Sowerbys and Reeve began to issue theirs, appeared at intervals up to 1879, when eleven volumes had been completed. All devoted to the illustration of marine gastropods with the exception of the tenth volume, which includes a monograph on the bivalve genus Thracia. The eleventh volume is the work of Paul Fischer. All the illustrations are by celebrated French engravers and artists of the day." (Dance. Hist. of Shell Collecting p. 137). This beautifully illustrated iconography on shells is still a valuable work of reference because of the new species described in it. The work is complete with 902 handcoloured plates as indicated in the last volume, where the publisher 'Ballière' informs the reader that the work consists of 165 parts with a total of 902 plates. Nissen, however, calls in error for a 20bis plate in the Cypraea section which, indeed, some copies have. Plate 20bis was cancelled due to poor printing and replaced by a better one. A few copies of the present work have the poorly printed plate as well as the corrected plate, as is the case with our copy. Our copy has an extra plate numbered 1 bis in the Turbo section, the plate is not called for in the list of plates, this plate appears again in the Troque section where it is numbered 1. For this reason we have 903 plates instead of the usual 902. An unusual clean copy of a work which is always prone to some foxing. Former owners name on each printed title.

Nissen ZBI, 2183; B.M.(Nat. Hist.)II, 978.