(White Coral) A. J. Dezailler Argenville, La Conchyliologie. Paris 1780. $495.00
"Rocher de Corail Blanc"
Antoine Joseph Dezailler d'Argenville (1680-1765) created a masterwork on sea shells. He titled his scientific work, La Conchyiologie ou Histoire Naturelle des Coquilles de Mer, Eau Douce, Tererestres et Fossiles. This engraving was included in the edition printed after Dezailler's death in Paris in 1780. Successful journeys of exploration brought back to Europe all manner of interesting, exciting and new specimens of natural history, and shells held a great appeal. Dezailler's book described various exotic varieties of shells and corals, with an explanation of their shape, geographic location, manner in which they were collected and he even suggested ways of displaying these specimens in Cabinets of Curiosity (the height of fashion of the day). This intriguing original engraving of "white coral" is floated and framed to museum specifications in a dark carved molding with gold leaf corner ornaments. Quirky yet elegant and unusual, a wonderful antique print to add to your collection.
Copperplate engraving on laid paper, hand colored. 11 x 8 inches sheet size, 19 x 16 inches outside frame dimensions. Excellent condition,