A very rare complete set of an important series on malacology and ornithology

Maynard, C. J.

Contributions to Science 1-3. [All published]. [INCLUDING] Monograph of the genus Strophia, a group of tropical and sub-tropical land shells.

Published 1889-1896
Item ID 75504
€2,500.00

excl. VAT

Newtonville, MA, Published by the author, 1889-1896. Three volumes in one. Thick 8vo (21.9 x 14.8 cm). 448 pp. [204; 204; 40]; 36 plates [16; 13 (X erroneusly numbered XII, last not numbered); 7], of which many hand-coloured or colour-printed; numerous text illustrations (two hand-coloured). Green buckram with gilt title on the spine. [AND] 2 pp. sales leaflet (folded, blank versos), titled ' Important to conchologists and libraries', and including steel engravings of three Strophia species of which two described by Maynard.

A very rare series, written and published by the American malacologist and ornithologist Charles Johnson Maynard (1845-1929). Casey Wood described it as "Irregularly issued essays, charmingly and accurately written, on numerous natural history subjects". With many important contributions to both ornithology (several new species) and malacology, in particular the genus Strophia. Strophia is a junior synonym of the land shell genus Cerion. Cerion shows an amazing variability in shape an sculpture, and has a peculiar distribution in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida. It attracted the attention of many malacologists and evolutionary biologists, including the Dutch malacologist Pieter Wagenaar Hummelinck (1907-2003), and the American malacologist, palaeontologist and evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). The author acted as a natural history dealer, too. He sold Cerion specimens to, e.g., the great American malacologist Henry Pilsbry (1862-1957) who wrote favourably about the quality of the specimens and collecting data (see the included sales brochure). Other studies deal with Lepidoptera, and marine sponges. Volume 3(1) was the last issue published. Nissen errs in listing only 34 plates. The last, unnumbered, plate in the second volume may be regarded as a vignette, but even then there are 35 - not 34 - plates in all. Provenance: with a hand-written dedication by the author to a Mary Louise Camus on the first blank, and blank preceding the second volume. Stamp of the American malacologist and malaco-historian Richard Irwin Johnson (1925-2020) in the top margin of the front free endpaper and first blank. There are no auction records of complete copies - only of a much incomplete copy, sold in 1955 - nor have we seen a complete copy ever before. Batchelder, C. F. (1951) ' A bibliography of the published writings of Charles Johnson Maynard [1845-1929]' . J. Soc. Bibl. Nat. Hist. 2, pp. 227-257 (item 85); Cat. BM(NH), p. 1274 (first two volumes only); Nissen ZBI, 2751; Wood, p. 455 (first two volumes only).

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