London, South Kensington
6 April 2011
MANTELL, Gideon Algernon (1790-1852). The Fossils of the South Downs; or illustrations of the geology of Sussex. London: Lupton Relfe: 1822. 4° (304 x 236mm). Hand-coloured engraved frontispiece and forty plates (two of which folding), hand-coloured lithographic geological map. (Title very lightly spotted and with old marginal tape mark and repair, occasional very faint spotting and offsetting to plates.) Contemporary half calf over marbled-paper covered boards, marbled endpapers and edges (rebacked preserving original spine, extremities rubbed).
ONE OF ONLY 25 FULLY-COLOURED COPIES OF MANTELL'S FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK. A ground-breaking publication with accurate stratigraphic analysis of the complex geology of Sussex, and demonstrating for the first time that the Wealden strata were of freshwater origin. Here, Mantell also described 76 species new to palaeontology. The plates were engraved by Mantell's wife, Mary Ann. Challinor 106; Dean, Mantell, pp.36-51; cf. Zittel pp.515-6.
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