8 parts in 1 vol., folio: xxiv- 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 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.
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