768. [Zoology - Turtles]

BELL, Thomas

A monograph of the Testudinata.

London, printed for S. Highley & J. Halinbourg, [1836-1842]

8 parts in 1 vol., folio: xxiv-[82] pp., 40 pls (a few pls very slightly browned).

Cont. red quarter shagreen, marbl. paper on covers, gilt flat spine (joints rubbed, corners bumped). Beautiful, well-preserved copy.

Extr. rare first edition of this magnificent work on turtles by the dental surgeon, professor of zoology and leading English naturalist Thomas Bell (1792-1880). It's a summary of all the world's turtles, living and extinct, including newly discovered varieties; making it the first and finest comprehensive account on turtles ever published. Illustrated with 40 finely hand-coloured lithograph. plates by Edward Lear (1812-1888), after drawings by James de Carle Sowerby (1787-1871). All pls heightened with arabic gum and with a protective tissue-guard. Eight parts of this work were published, each containing five pls. Publication ceased before the work was completed, because of financial difficulties of the publisher; the introductory text ends with an incomplete phrase. Our copy is identical to Nissen's description. Some copies have an extra letterpress index, not present here. Our copy is extr. rare; we only found 2 similar copies with 40 pls being auctioned during the last 35 years. Ref. Nissen (ZBI) 296. - Brunet I:742. - BL. Prov. Ownership entry on title erased.

€ 20.000 / 25.000

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