London, Lovell A. Reeve, 1865-1866. Folio (25.9 x 20.3 cm). Titles and indices to all parts, and 36 beautifully hand-coloured plates [ Cerithidea (1866) 4; Cerithium (1865) 20; Lampania 1866) 2; Potamides (1866) 1; Pyrazus (1865) 1; Telescopium (1865) 1; Tympanotonos (1866) 2; Vertagus (1865-1866) 5]; all with explanatory text leaves. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Spine with gilt lines and title. Marbled endpapers.
Very rare copy of the combined Cerithoidea in Conchologia Iconica, started by Lovell Reeve in 1843 and finished (rather than completed) long after Reeve's death in 1865 by G. B. Sowerby, comprising 20 volumes in all. Cerithioidea was not yet recognized in Reeve's days as a superfamily, but the gross similarity of the genera involved made this "natural" grouping evident and the short time span between the parts published suggests that they were studied by the author(s) simultaneously. These monographs, perhaps the first done by Sowerby alone, include the description of several hundred species including many that were poorly known or new. Most of the descriptions are based on material collected by the most famous shell collector of the 19th century, Hugh Cuming (1791-1865). "...Reeve had become acquainted with Cuming, and Reeve’s life was changed forever. ... Their association was such as to encourage Reeve to begin the Conchologia Iconica in 1843 primarily for description of Cuming material. Many of the Part covers for the Iconica carry the wording “Illustrated chiefly from the Cumingian Collection" (Petit). Small paper repair to one text leaf margin, a few tiny pencil annotations, otherwise very good with all the plates clean and finely, accurately hand-coloured. Caprotti, p. 213; Nissen ZBI, 3331. Petit (Zootaxa 1648), p. 30.