Including the ultra-rare plates

Orbigny, A. [C. V.] D. d'

Mollusques vivants et fossiles, ou description de toutes les espèces de coquilles et de mollusques classées suivant leur distribution géologique et géographique. Avec un atlas representant les types des animaux et des coquilles de tous les genres, ainsi que les espèces les plus charactéristiques des différents terrains. Tome premier. [All published].

Published 1845-1847
Item ID 75423

excl. VAT

Paris, Gide, 1845-[1847]. 8vo (21.8 x14.0 cm). 605 pp.; 35 lithographed plates of which 22 finely hand-coloured. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Spine with gilt lines and title. Marbled endpapers.

A well-illustrated work by one of the most eminent malacologists of all time, the French explorer, zoologist, botanist and palaeontologist Alcide Charles Victor Marie Dessalines d'Orbigny (1802-1857). This first volume covers the cephalopods, and contains wonderful, delicately coloured illustrations of octopuses, squids, and cuttlefish, and their shells, if any. Projected parts on other molluscan classes were never published, which is most regrettable indeed. This cephalopod part is very rare - copies with the atlas (i.e., a complete suite of plates) are extremely rare. We found a single auction record: in 1895 a copy was present in the sale of the scientific library of the malacologist John Howard Redfield (1815-1895). OCLC does not report more than one complete copy. Nissen's record of 36 plates is an error. Provenance: stamp of the American malacologist Richard Irwin Johnson (1925-2020) in the title page top margin. Some spotting, mainly to the first few printed leaves - occasional, light spotting on a few plate margins and elsewhere, but generally quite clean. In all an excellent copy. Henkels, S. V. (1895) The Scientific Library of the late John Howard Redfield. Conchology, Botany and Kindred Sciences, p. 2 (item 18); Nissen ZBI, 3019.

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