DONOVAN, Edward (1768-1837). The Natural History of British Shells. London: Bye & Law for the author and F.C. and J. Rivington, -1804.
5 volumes, 8° (250 x 152mm). 180 hand-coloured engraved plates, some heightened in white or with gum arabic, the majority retaining loosely-inserted tissue guards. (Variable, generally light spotting and occasional marking, occasional light offsetting from plates onto text, some plates lightly browned, particularly in vols IV-V.) Original light blue boards [one free endpaper watermarked 1807], letterpress paper lettering-pieces on spines, uncut, a few quires unopened (a little rubbed, scuffed and marked, corners slightly bumped, spines faded and chipped with small losses, some joints with short splits). Provenance: Mary Chaytor, Spennithorne [?Hall], Yorkshire, October 1808 (scored-through inscriptions on front free endpapers) -- C. Morley (inscriptions on front free endpapers and upper boards, the latter also with volume numbers) -- early manuscript correction on errata leaf V, I4.
FIRST EDITION. A RARE SET IN THE ORIGINAL BOARDS. The Natural History of British Shells was issued in 60 monthly parts, each illustrated with three plates, between 1799 and 1804. The work is rare at auction in the original boards: only one other similar set is recorded by ABPC since 1975. BM(NH) I, p. 473 (lacking titles in 3 vols); Nissen ZBI 1147. (5)