BORN, Ignaz Edler von (1742-1791)
Testacea Musei Caesarei Vindobonensis, quae jussu Mariae Theresiae Augustae disposuit et descripsit Ignatius a Born
Vienna: Sumptibus Joannis Pauli Kraus, 1780. Folio. xxxvi, 442. (20) pp. Illustrated with vignette title-page, 18 hand-colored engraved plates, numerous head and tail-pieces, in-text engravings.
Tan calf, skillfully rebacked spine gilt with red morocco lettering piece, marbled endpapers.
One of the most beautiful of all conchological works including examples from the collection of the Empress of Austria, a collection "of great importance to systematists, as Born described from it a number of species new to science" (Dance).
The work was commissioned by Empress Marie-Therese to record and codify her natural history collection in Vienna. In 1778 Born published a descriptive catalogue of the collection; the present work, published two years later is on a much more sumptuous scale and included the fine colour plates. A sumptuous record of the royal shell collection held in Vienna, produced at the instigation of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria (1717-1780). An earlier edition, in octavo with only a single plate, was published in 1778. "Born's interests and activities extended into fields other than mineralogy and mining... In 1783 Born published Specimen monachologiae, a vicious satire against monks in which the various orders were classified according to a system modeled after Linnaeus (DSB)."
BM(NH) I, p. 202; S. Peter Dance, Shell Collecting An Illustrated History, pp. 93-94, no. 36; Nissen ZBI 470.