London, South Kensington
25 November 2014
PERRY, George (fl. 1810). 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 [plates watermarked 1810]. 2° (356 x 280mm). 61 fine hand-coloured aquatint plates by John Clarke after Perry. (Without half-title or 2pp. publisher's advertisements found in some copies, contents leaf cropped into headline by the binder, text leaf to plate XXXIX with tears and marginal repairs, pl. 56 with light scuff mark, occasional faint offsetting and spotting.) Mid 19th-century green half morocco over marbled-paper covered boards, top edge gilt (extremities rubbed). Provenance: T.E. Manning (armorial bookplate pasted over another of earlier date).
FIRST EDITION of the first work on shells to be illustrated with aquatint plates. Although Perry's Conchology was sharply criticized by contemporaries such as Sowerby, modern assessment affirms Perry's contribution: 'many of [Perry's] new generic and specific names are firmly entrenched in the literature today' (Dance, pp.121). For his illustrations, subsequently vividly coloured by hand, Perry worked from natural specimens in the collections of the British Museum, William Bullock, George Annesley (Viscount Valentia), H.C. Jennings, W.J. Broderip and Elizabeth Bligh (wife of William Bligh, of Bounty fame). Dance pp.120-121, no.223; Nissen ZBI 3134.
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