SOWERBY, George Brettingham (1788-1854)
Marine Shells of South Africa: A Catalogue of All the Known Species with References to Figures in Various Works, Descriptions of New Species and Figures of Such as are New, Little Known, or Hitherto Unfigured
London: Sowerby, 121 Fulham Road, 1892. 4to. (10 5/8 x 7 3/8 inches). iv, 89pp. 5 lithographic plates of shells. 1 page of advertisements for shells, bids, eggs, etc. at the end. Includes a photo facsimile of the 1897 appendix.
Blue publisher's cloth, stamped in gilt. Some wear to spine.
A reference work on shells in South Africa by a noted naturalist.
In this work, the author aimed to "give in a small compass a list, as complete as possible, of all the known Marine Shells of South Africa, with references to figures in well-known works, descriptions of new species, and figures not only of these, but of some that have been described from time to time by other authors without figures" (iii). He sorted and identified 740 species, 323 of which he believed were only found in South Africa. George Brettingham Sowerby was the second son of James Sowerby, the noted English naturalist and illustrator, who he assisted with illustrated works. After his father's death, Sowerby and his brother completed his work on fossil shells and published the later parts of the "Mineral Conchology of Great Britain." G. B. Sowerby became a notable conchologist and zoologist in his own right, publishing about 50 papers on molluscs. He published several comprehensive, illustrated books on the subject, the most important being the "Thesaurus Conchyliorum." He also dealt in shells and natural history objects.