Kai sen Shu (One thousand kinds of shells existing in Japan).
Kyoto 1912-21. 4 volumes. 4to (250 x 180mm). With 400 beautifully hand-coloured woodcuts. Contemporary silk bound volumes, in a Japanese cloth case.
A complete copy of this very scarce beautifully produced Japanese work on shells. Hirase Yoichiro (1859-1925), Japans most famous conchologist at the turn of the century, established his own Conchological Museum in Kyoto in 1936 and founded the short-lived 'Conchological Magazine' in 1907. He assembled the largest collection of shells in Japan. "Four silk-bound volumes of this unique conchological publication were issued, each containing many illustrations produced from woodcuts and coloured by hand in traditional Japanese style... almost single-handed, he placed his country on the conchological map..." (Dance, Hist. of Shell Collecting p. 181). "This is why I have used the wood-cut art, which has been existing a long time in Kyoto, and has advanced to an excellent state of development" (From the Introduction). A fine copy of a rare book illustrating Japanese shells in a traditional Japanese manner. "Kai Sen Shu is unique among conchological publications and is highly prized by each fortunate owner of a copy" (Dance, Shells p. 126). The title of the book is commonly quoted as 'Kai sen Shu' but the correct title according to Mr. Paul Callomon is 'Kai Chigusa'. Dance 150.
Item nr. 9452
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