(Triton shells) A. J. Dezallier d’Argenville. La Conchyliologie. Paris  1780. Framed $695.00
Plate XXXIV “Buccins”
Antoine Joseph Dezallier d’Argenville (French 1680-1765) was an immensely curious naturalist. He is known for his treatises on landscape gardening and his scientific connoisseurship of shells and fossils. The collecting of shells and fossils was a gentlemen’s occupation involving leisure time, education and finances. Dezallier created a masterwork on sea shells titled: La Conchyiologie ou Histoire Naturelle des Coquilles de Mer, Eau Douce, Terrestres et Fossiles. This engraving was included in the edition printed after Dezallier’s death in Paris in 1780. Successful journeys of exploration brought to Europe all manner of interesting and new specimens of natural history, and shells held a great appeal. Dezallier’s book described various exotic varieties of shells and corals, with an explanation of the 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).
Copperplate engraving on laid paper, hand colored. 11 ¼ x 8 inches sheet size, 18 x 15 inches framed. Excellent condition.