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PERRY, George.

Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells:...

containing a New Arrangement of the Genera and Species, illustrated by Coloured Engravings, executed from the Natural Specimens, and including the Latest Discoveries.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Printed for William Miller, by W. Bulmer and Co., 1811

Stock Code: 132700

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of the first book on shells to be illustrated with aquatint plates, one of the finest conchological works of the 19th century, this copy with exquisite original hand-colouring; letterpress watermarked "W. Turner & Son", plates with no discernible watermarks; early issue of the index leaf, bearing Bulmer's imprint (as noted by Petit; later issues have that of either M'Creery or Howlett and Brimmer) and with the block of text under "Remarks" to plate I consisting of 15 lines (second and third editions having 16 lines). "An important work on bivalves and univalves. A great many of the specimens are noted as coming from various parts of the Pacific, though there are none identified as having been collected from Hawaii. Twenty-three specimens are from New Holland and Van Diemen's Land, 10 from New Zealand, 15 from the "South Seas", two from the Pacific Ocean, and one from "Otaheite" Tahiti. Specimens are also identified as coming from the collections of Mrs. Bligh, Mr. Latham, and the museums of Mr. Bullock and Sir Ashton Lever" (Forbes).

Almost nothing is known about George Perry. Petit surmises that he "must have lived in, or close to, London" and that he may be the same George Perry listed as a member of the Palaeontographical Society in 1848, with an address just off Northampton Square, which was originally laid out in 1832. He is described elsewhere as either an architect or stonemason, born around 1771. His only other work, Arcana, or the Museum of Natural History, was published in monthly parts between January 1810 and September 1811 and dedicated to the Quaker physician and philanthropist John Coakley Lettsom.

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Small folio (422 x 270 mm). Recent red straight-grained morocco period style, richly gilt spine, sides with concentric blind and gilt panels, central lozenge, blind roll tool to turn-ins, gold vein marbled endpapers.


61 hand-coloured aquatint plates by John Clarke after Perry; accompanying letterpress printed on rectos only.


Bound without the half-title and 2 pp. of publisher's advertisements found in some copies but with the list of plates. Spine cocked, title and a few leaves of letterpress with repaired closed-tears, some marginal soiling, scattered foxing, light offsetting of plates to letterpress. A handsomely bound copy.


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