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GEORGE PERRY

Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells: containing a new arrangement of the genera and species. London: W. Bulmer and Co. for William Miller, [1810]-1811 [text watermarked 1818; plates, 1820-1821]. 2 (422 x 264mm). 61 hand-coloured aquatint plates by John Clarke after the author, each with accompanying leaf of description, letterpress index. (Some occasional and very light spotting to a few plates, lacking half-title.) Contemporary straight-grained blue morocco elaborately tooled in gilt, flat spine in seven compartments, gilt edges, by H.S. Nichols (neatly rebacked, original backstrip laid down, neat restoration to corners, light surface damage to lower cover with resultant loss to gilding). Provenance: Walter Longueville Gladstone (armorial bookplate dated 1893 and ownership inscription dated '29th April 1899').

A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION of one of the classic English works on conchology and the only book on shells to be illustrated with aquatints. The work led to a rift between Perry and his fellow conchologist George Brettingham Sowerby the elder (1788-1854), who had accused him of fantastical conchology and questioned Perry's classification of a number of species. Nissen ZBI 3134 (noting copies with watermarks dated between 1808 and 1836).
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