Very rare double suite copy, finely coloured edition of this early work on Mediterranean shells

Cantraine, F.

Malacologie Méditerranéenne et littorale, ou description des mollusques qui vivent dans la Méditerranée ou sur le continent de l'Italie, ainsi que des coquilles qui se trouvent dans les terrains tertiaires Italiens, avec des observations sur leur anatomie, leurs moeurs, leur analogie et leur gisement. Ouvrage servant de faune malacologique Italienne et de complément a la Conchiologia fossile subapennica de Brocchi.

Published 1840
Item ID 46014

excl. VAT

Bruxelles, M. Hayez, 1840. Large 4to (29.1 x 22.0 cm). 173 pp.; 12 engraved plates of which six finely hand-coloured (double suite). Contemporary blue limp leather, blue printed label with handwritten title on front wrapper.

Very rare and important publication on Mediterranean molluscs by the Belgian malacologist François Joseph Cantraine (1801-1863), with the plates in double suite, hand-coloured, and plain. With the descriptions of new species. The work is particularly important for its fine illustrations of living animals and shells of often new or poorly known species (e.g. Pteropoda and Nudibranchia, but also Helicidae). Even the smaller species are figured in great detail. We have seen a double suite copy only once more. Usually this work is dated as from 1841, perhaps because volume 13 of the Mémoires of the Académie royale in Brussels were published in that year. This, however, is an offprint - or, rather, preprint, dated 1840, and there is no reason to doubt that it was published in that year. Some plate references, e.g. to plate 13, are incorrect. Lacks the single page "Table alphabetique". Perhaps none of the offprints had an index, because a second volume was projected, but never published. Spine cover slightly chipped, cancellation stamp over old stamp on title page, some light, marginal spots to a few plates. Colouring very good. Caprotti II, p. 15 (179); Not in Nissen.

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