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The Natural History of British Shells including figures and descriptions of All the Species Hitherto discovered in Great Britain Systematically Arranged in the Linnean Manner with scientific and general observations on each. Vols I-V by Edward Donovan - 1st Edition - 1799 - from E C Books and Biblio.com

The Natural History of British Shells including figures and descriptions of All the Species Hitherto discovered in Great Britain Systematically Arranged in the Linnean Manner with scientific and general observations on each. Vols I-V

by Edward Donovan

Condition: Fair/N


London : Rivington and Co, 1799 A fair copy of Edward Donovan's work on British Shells, in contemporary half morocco bindings with 180 hand coloured plates. Donovan is justly famed for his accurately observed and delicate illustrations of wildlife - mainly birds, insects, fish and shells. He took advantage of the large numbers of specimens being brought back to museums and private collections from voyages and expeditions. British Shells was issued in parts between 1799 and 1803 and subscribers would have been able to bind their copies as they chose. Donovan's works had limited distribution because of their expense, and have become scarcer as many sets have been broken up for their plates. This set is half morocco, with gilt lines to the spine and gilt titles, volume numbers and dates, and has marbled boards. The page edges have been minimally trimmed. The bindings are worn but sound - so the morocco is losing its surface on the spine joints and corners and there is general edge wear. The volumes have spent some time in the library of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and each volume has a stamp to the title page, some library numbers to the verso (except Vol I, which has another library stamp), and a stamp to a blank area of a text page later in the book. All the volumes have spotty and browned endpapers and blanks, and the quality of the text page paper varies considerably. Some is brown-toned, and some sections have brown toning to the margins, but not the text area. There are no tissue-guards, so there is some offsetting from strongly coloured plates. The plate paper is largely free of foxing, and varies from white to toned. There is the odd ?ink mark and spot, and occasional light browning at the top page edge probably from soot. Vol I: title page 1799; introduction 3pp; 36 hand coloured plates with text descriptions; index 10pp. Vol II: title page 1800; 36 hand coloured plates with text descriptions; 10pp index. Vol III: title page 1801; 36 hand coloured plates with text descriptions; 8pp index. Vol IV: title page 1802; 36 hand coloured plates with text descriptions; 8pp index. Vol V: title page 1803; 36 hand coloured plates with text descriptions; 7pp index; 1 pp advert for Donovan's works. Vol V has 2 plates which are foxed, and a waterstain affecting the top of the text pages accompanying plates CXLV and CXLVI. Please ask for more images if you would like to further assess condition.


  • Bookseller: E C Books GB (GB)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 032229
  • Title: The Natural History of British Shells including figures and descriptions of All the Species Hitherto discovered in Great Britain Systematically Arranged in the Linnean Manner with scientific and general observations on each. Vols I-V
  • Author: Edward Donovan
  • Illustrator:Edward Donovan
  • Format/binding:Half-Leather
  • Book condition: Used - Fair
  • Jacket condition: N
  • Quantity available: 1
  • Edition: 1st Edition
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Rivington and Co
  • Place: London
  • Date published: 1799
  • Keywords: conchology; british shells; edward donovan; eighteenth century natural history;
  • Bookseller catalogs: NATURAL HISTORY; Freshwater and Marine Life, including fish and fishing; Conchology;
  • Subjects: NATURE / Marine Life;
  • Size: 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall


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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
foxed
See also: foxingFoxing is the age related browning, or brown-yellowish spots, that can occur to book paper over time. When this ...[more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye.(see also Goatsk...[more]
Fair
is a worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc. (whic...[more]
plate
Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...[more]
Marbled boards
A hardcover book with a decorative colored paper that imitates marble using a mottled, veined, or swirling pattern....[more]
gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf. A...[more]
edges
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a ...[more]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the pu...[more]
verso
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page....[more]

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