A very nice work on a most famous shell collection

Sowerby, G. B. I

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.

Published 1825
Item ID 75090

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London, G. B. Sowerby I, 1825. 8vo (22.7 x 14.4 cm). 139 pp. [vii, 92, xxxiv, 2, 4]; nine hand-coloured engraved plates. Red buckram. Spine with gilt title.

This is the work of George Brettingham the First (1788-1854), 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 2½ 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. Two numbered pages, placed before the plates, form a prospectus, or "Proposal" for the Species Conchyliorum or descriptions of all the known species of Recent shells. This pamphlet is not dated, and was apparently issued together with the Tankerville Catalogue. The Species Conchyliorum was advertised as a work containing 5,000 species described and figured on 900-1000 plates. Details of the different prices for subscribers with or without advance payment are given. The last four numbered pages, placed after the plates, form a catalogue, announcing this work, and the Tankerville Sale, as well as some of his stock. This copy of the Tankerville Catalogue does include the ninth plate (with Trichotropis bicarinatus), which often seems to be missing (see Junk Cat. 278). A few light spots in the text; the plates, however, fine, clean. Caprotti II, p. 220; Not in Nissen ZBI.

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