Paris: De Bure l'Aîné, 1742.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003387
Two parts in one volume. 4to (289 x 220 mm). , 1-230, , 231-491  pp. Title printed in red and black, engraved and hand-colored allegorical frontispiece by Chedel after Boucher and 32 engraved plates, all in fine contemporary hand-coloring, woodcut head- and tailpieces. Without the later issued Appendix found in a few copies only. Bound in contemporary French calf, rebacked and recornered with most of the original spine leather and morocco label preserved, marbled endpapers, red-dyed edges, both boards with gilt-stamped central supralibros (leather rubbed and scratched). Text somewhat evenly browned, minor occasional spotting, single wormtrack in blank fore-margin of pp. 393-426. Provenance: Leo Laigurei (signed and dated 1930 on first flyleaf). A very good copy with wide margins and with the plates in fresh and vivid colors. - Visit our website to see more images! ----
Nissen (ZBI) 144; Barbier II:819; Schuh, Bibliography of Mineralogy, 1337. FIRST EDITION, AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE WITH THE PLATES IN FINE HAND-COLORING, of this illustrated inventory and classification of seashells in eighteenth-century France. Dezallier d'Argenville (1680-1765), originally a painter, became interested in natural history and during his long life and extensive travels formed one of the finest rarity cabinets in France. In this work he describes his extensive collection of rare minerals, fossils and other geological curiosities such as petrified wood. The second part contains a treatise on shells and other molluscs which at the same time constitutes an interesting attempt at the grouping of these species into families on account of physiological similarities. Both parts are illustrated with splendidly engraved plates, each showing up to 28 different species of shells. The engraving of the plates was paid for by high ranking acquaintances and friends of the author, such as the Duke of Sully, the Abbots of Pomponne and Joly de Fleury, the Count of Egmond, etc. The names of the donors are found in the plate legend. This book was highly appreciated by collectors, because it made it easier to determine shells, whether marine, river or terrestrial, fossil or current. Chapters IX and X deal with the arrangement of a cabinet for natural history and the most famous cabinets in Europe relating to natural history. Carl von Linné used it for the organization of his own collection. Dezalllier left on his death in 1765 a third unfinished edition, finally published by the Favanne in 1780.
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