REEVE, Lovell Augustus (1814-1865)
Conchologia Systematica, or Complete System of Conchology: In which the Lepades and Conchiferous Mollusca are described and classified according to their natural organization and habits
London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1841-1842. 2 volumes, quarto. (10 5/8 x 8 inches). vi, 195; , 337, pp. Folding letterpress table in volume 1. and 300 hand-coloured engraved plates (plates 158 and 171 duplicated). Bookseller's descriptions (of different examples) tipped to front free endpaper.
19th century full diced calf, rebacked with spines in six compartments with raised bands, spine titled in gilt with repeat gilt decoration of shells, marbled endpapers, marbled edges.
Provenance: Richard I. Johnson (1925-2020) (stamps on front free endpapers and titlepages)
First edition of this famous conchological work, with beautiful illustrations of shells.
Lovell Augustus Reeve was an English publisher, conchologist and natural history dealer who wrote extensively on the topic of mollusc shells. Reeve apprenticed as a grocer, but developed his interest in conchology as a young man, and eventually established himself as a dealer in natural history specimens. In this work, his first book, Reeve presents comprehensive and detailed observations on the science and history of conchology. For each shell, he describes its qualities and classification. This was an exceedingly handsomely illustrated book on conchology, the publication costs of which "used up all the moneys left to him by his father" (ODNB). "The work had a limited scientific success but is still important because some species new to science were first described in it" (Dance & Heppell, p. 72).
Dance 240; Nissen ZBI 3332.