Donovan’s The Natural History of British Shells – 5 Volumes in 3 Books with 180 Engravings


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The Natural History of British Shells

This is a 5 volume set bound in 3 of Edward Donovan’s work The Natural History of British Shells, including figures and descriptions of all the Species hiherto discovered in Great Britain, systematically arranged, in the Linnean Manner, with scientific and general observation on each. It includes 180 originally hand-colored engravings. This first edition work was published in London between 1799 and 1803 for the author by F. & C. Rivington.

Edward Donovan was involved in all the steps of creating the illustrations in his works from the drawing, etching, engraving, and hand-coloring. His artistic hand created some of the finest engravings that often have the appearance of watercolors. Donovan was an avid natural history collector, fellow of the Linnean Society and the Wernerian Natural History Society. He also opened his own private museum in 1807, the London Museum and Institute of Natural History.

Donovan’s engravings are noted for their exceptionally hand-colored images. He drew the images himself from his own museum as well as the collections of Sir Joseph Banks & Dru Drury.

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