London, South Kensington
6 April 2001
PERRY, George. Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells: containing a new arrangement of the Genera and Species, London: for William Miller by W. Bulmer and Co., -1811. 2° (416 x 265mm.), half title, one-page index, 61 hand-coloured aquatint plates by John Clarke after the author, each with accompanying leaf of text (some light offsetting onto text leaves, occasional light, mostly marginal, browning), contemporary straight-grained brown half morocco panelled in gilt, g.e. (rubbed, lower joints slightly cracked, head of spine slightly frayed); Sir George Magrath (contemporary presentation inscription reading 'from George Magrath to his dear little Niece'). Brunet IV, 516: "Ouvrage bien imprimé..."; Nissen ZBI 3134.
A CLASSIC WORK ON CONCHOLOGY, and the only book on shells to be illustrated with aquatints. The work lead to a rift between Perry and his fellow conchologist, G. B. Sowerby, who accused him of dreaming up extraordinary shells and misnaming certain species. A pencil note on the front free endpaper of this copy verifies that it was presented by 'Sir George Magrath, surgeon to Lord Nelson and Nelson's friend -- uncle and guardian of Sir Thomas Maclean -- Astronomer Royal -- Cape of Good Hope. Great Aunt Mart, his god-daughter, daughter of Thomas Maclean, was his great niece.' This note is signed 'Alice M.C. Mann (great great niece).'
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