London, Smith, Elder, -1849. Large 4to (31.3 x 25.1 cm). vii, 274 pp.; 117 originally hand-coloured engraved plates. [numbered, in Roman numerals, 1-98, 3*, 20*, 20**, 21*, 29*, 33*, 37*, 52*, 53*, 54*, 55*, 56*, 61*, 61**, 61***, 66*, 66**, 72*, 74*]. Contemporary, probably publisher's, half morocco over double gilt-bordered marbled boards. Spine with five raised, gilt-ornamented bands; compartments rich gilt with conchological vignettes and floral borders, and gilt title. Top edge gilt.
First edition, in the very rare, entirely hand-coloured version. Thomas Brown (1785-1862) was a well-known British ornithologist and malacologist. This is his only palaeontological contribution. Brown was responsible for both the text and the illustrations. Nissen quotes 116 plates, apparently missing 53*; Ward and Carozzi quote only 98 plates. The binding seems to be the publisher's, as we have seen several other (mostly uncoloured) copies in a near-identical binding. Not to be confused with the much later (1889) Swan Sonnenschein edition, titled An Atlas of the Fossil Conchology of Great Britain and Ireland, with the same plates printed on inferior paper. Partially coloured copies are known too. A stamp of the American malacologist Richard Irwin Johnson (1925-2020) in the top margin of the title page. Some rubbing to boards, otherwise a very good, clean copy. Nissen ZBI, 610; Ward and Carozzi, 352. Not in Caprotti.