A catalogue of the shells contained in the collection of the late Earl of Tankerville, arranged according to the Lamarckian conchological system; together with an appendix, containing descriptions of many new species.
Item ID 52871
London, G. B. Sowerby, 1825. 8vo (22.5 x 14.1 cm). vii, 92, xxxiv, 3 pp., nine hand-coloured engraved plates. Later quarter cloth over contemporary limp boards. Printed paper label on the spine. This is the work of George Brettingham the First (1778-1854), who bought the collection himself in order to sell it as a whole, or in parts. "Charles Bennet, fourth Earl of Tankerville...formed a shell collection that became famous, particularly after his death when it was put up for sale. It exceeded even the Bligh collection in choice and rare shells for it included some of the best specimens from the Portland Museum and a large part of the Calonne shell collection" (Dance, A History of Shell Collecting, p. 107-108). In all, Dance spent 2 1/2 pages of his 286-page book on the origin, contents, and sale of this collection, underscoring its importance in the history of malacology, and as a source of new species. The last three numbered pages, placed behind the plates, form a prospectus for the "Species Conchyliorum or concise original descriptions and observations, accompanied by figures of ALL the species of Recent shells, with their varieties". This pamphlet is dated January 1, 1831; it was, thus, added later. The "Species Conchyliorum", although introduced in the pamphlet as "This day is published", was begun in 1830, but never made it beyond Vol. I, Part I. with a monograph of the genus Cymba , by W. J. Broderip, and Monographs of the genera Ancillaria, Ovulum and Pandora , by Sowerby himself. Some copies of the Tankerville catalogue contain a different, 2 pp. pre-publication prospectus for the "Species Conchyliorum". Old owner's signature of "James Reid" on front free endpaper. Possibly this is the John Reid who, according to "2.400 years of Malacology", published on nudibranch eggs (1846). Spine skilfully repaired, interior very good. This copy of the Tankerville catalogue contains the 9th plate, which seems to be often missing (fide Junk Cat., 278). Caprotti, p. 220; Not in Nissen ZBI. A very rare work on a most famous shell collection, in very good condition