MARTINI, Friedrich Heinrich Wilhelm (1729-1778) and Johann Hieronymus CHEMNITZ. Neues systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet. Nuremberg: Gabriel Nikolaus Raspe, 1769-1795.
Volumes I-XI only (of 12) with the Namen-Register by J.S. Schröter bound as a twelfth volume, 4° (290 x 226mm). Engraved portrait frontispiece, hand-coloured engraved additional title in volume I, and 408 hand-coloured engraved plates after A.F. Happe, Krüger, J.S. Leitner, Nussbiegel, F.A. Scheidl, J.P. Degen and others, the first series numbered 1-193 in roman, the second 1-213 with bis plates 144 and 195. Engraved illustrations, those in volume I printed in red, some hand-coloured. (Some generally light offsetting to plates, heavier to plates 102, 132 and 135 in vols. VIII-IX, plate 109 frayed at bottom corner, I2r and K3r of vol. IX with printing fault causing substantial loss of text, some text gatherings browned, lacking A1 [? flytitle] in vol. I). Finely-bound in early 19th-century russia, covers with double panel in gilt and blind enclosing the Botfield arms, spine compartments tooled in gilt and blind, gilt board edges and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges.
FIRST EDITION OF THIS GREAT MONUMENT TO THE SEA SHELL. The first three volumes were written by Martini, a Berlin doctor, founder of the 'Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde,' and translator of Geoffroy's Traité des Coquilles as well as the works of Buffon. Although he did not adopt the binominal system, this was the first large scale iconography of shells intended to portray every shell known, in colour. After his death in 1778, the vast project was continued by Chemnitz, pastor to the German garrison in Copenhagen and a fellow member of the 'Gesellschaft naturforschender Freunde.' It must also have depended heavily on Rasp for its completion. Chemnitz was responsible for volumes IV-XI. Volume XII, by G.H. Schubert and J. A. Wagner, appeared much later in 1829. J.S. Schroter's Namen-Resgister to the first ten volumes, issued by the Rasp publishing house in 1788, is usually bound into volume X. Brunet III, 1502; Nissen ZBI 2722; Dance, Shell collecting pp. 74-75. (12)