As exploration and colonization expanded contemporary knowledge, so too did the new "wonders" of the natural world which were brought back to Europe and studied. The documentation of these new finds was quite important and wonderful natural history books were created to collate and define the new arrivals. These shell engravings were illustrations in just one of these works, Niccolo Gualtieri's Index Testarum Conchyliorum, published in 1742. Gualtieri was a physician as well as Professor at the University of Pisa. The engravings are taken from the drawings of Giuseppe Menabuoni and engraved by Antonio Pazzi. Gualtieri was a physician as well as Professor at the University of Pisa and his great love was the study of mollusks. The comprehensive collections of exotic seashells he amassed are housed today at the university.
Copperplate engraving, with hand color. 18 1/4 x 12 ½ inches sheet. Archivally framed. Excellent condition.