De Montfort's ground-breaking work on genera - remarkably illustrated

Denys de Montfort, P.

Conchyliologie systématique, et classification méthodique des coquilles; offrant leurs figures, leurs arrangements génériques, leurs descriptions caractéristiques, leurs noms; ainsi que leur synonymie en plusieurs langues. Ouvrage destiné à faciliter l'étude des coquilles, ainsi que leur disposition dans les cabinets d'histoire naturelle. Coquilles univalves, cloisonées & non cloisonnées.

Published 1808-1810
Item ID 75162
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Paris, F. Schoell, 1808-1810. Two volumes in two. 8vo (20.4 x 12.8 cm). 1,189 pp. (lxxxvii, 410; 676, 16 [publisher's catalogue]); 261 [100; 161] woodcut plates. Contemporary uniform half calf over marbled boards. Spines rich gilt with ornamental gilt bands and gilt title.

A rare, iconoclastic work on molluscs, with the introduction of many new genera, being one of the earliest works obliterating the cumbersome Linnaean system of molluscan genera. The author, Pierre Dénys de Montfort (1766-1820) was a prolific writer on malacology and well ahead of his time: many of Montfort's genera have come in to use long after first publication. A fairly large section deals with foraminifers, then still included in conchology. Finely illustrated with expressive woodcuts. The use of woodcuts, however, is atavistic and highly peculiar. The first volume is rather common, the second however, is rare. Apparently, the publisher's expectations were too high. Montfort, meanwhile, went bankrupt soon after. A third volume, probably covering the bivalves, was announced as being printed, but nothing more was published. Provenance: a stamp of the American malacologist Richard Irwin Johnson (1925-2020) in the top margin of the front free endpaper and second half-title. Boards with slight wear at corners and spine ends, but generally in an excellent condition. BM(NH) p. 1340; Caprotti II, p. 41 [205]; Nissen ZBI, 1080.

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