Venetiis (Venice), J. Baptista Pasqual, 1739. 4to (29.2 x 20.0 cm). 88 pp.; wood-engraved title vignette and five folded, engraved plates. Contemporary limp boards with script title in an old hand on the spine.
Rare first edition of this early important description and illustration of shells and (living) molluscs, starfish, crabs and other invertebrates, mostly from the Adriatic Sea at Rimini, where the author lived. The author - the physician, anatomist and zoologist Giovanni Paolo Simon Bianchi (1693-1775) - used the pseudonym Janus Plancus, or Jano Planco. The first two plates depict Foraminifera. This might well be the first work dealing extensively with these microscopic organisms, once believed to be related to nautiloids. Among the illustrated living gastropods, we also find some smaller species, for instance of the genera Tritia [ Cyclope] and Epitonium [wentletrap]. Uncut, thus with the widest possible margins. Small armorial bookplate on the front pastedown. Weak dampstaining to the fore-edge; a few spots, mostly to the margin of the last plate, otherwise clean. A very good copy. Caprotti I, p. 39; Nissen ZBI, 356.