1846, the first volume of Lovell Reeve's Elements of Conchology with 50 fine hand-coloured plates
First edition. Hardback rebound in plain binder's cloth. 25 × 15.5cm, [ii], 160pp + 50 plates.
A very rare early Victorian conchology book. This formed the first part of Lovell Reeve's Elements of Conchology, the whole work eventually being published in two volumes in 1860. The text pages have a brief introduction to conchology, the sub-kingdoms of genus, and growth and structure of shells etc, followed by a detailed breakdown of the genus. This is followed by 50 superb hand-coloured lithographs. The numbering of the plates is a little erratic with the first 13 being A-N (with no J), followed by Nos 1–31 and the final six in roman numerals. COPAC states this edition should have 50 plates and they are all present.
The cloth binding is quite heavily worn, with fading and discoloration. There is a small area of loss at the foot of the title page (about 3 × 4mm) with a little light tanning around it. The main body of text is in good clean condition, with folding to the lower corner for the first 15 pages but not affecting text. The plates are in very good condition with a little tanning to the margins and a smattering of very light foxing but they remain crisp and clean. The plates are beautiful.