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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Natural History

Antique Shell Prints

[ Albertus Seba | George Perry ]


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Seba plate 46Seba plate 72 Prints from Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri. Amsterdam: J. Wetstenium & Gul. Smith & Janssonio-Waesbergios, 1735. Engravings. Ca. 16 x 10 1/2. Lovely hand color. Excellent condition.

A series of stunning folio shell prints from the early eighteenth century. These prints, made using copper engraving and then hand colored, are from a series that contains some of the most dramatic natural history prints issued in the eighteenth century. Showing shells, snakes and other subjects, Seba's prints were produced with as much concern for their aesthetic appearance as for their scientific accuracy. Like many others in this field, Seba was a collector of curiosities and these magnificent prints illustrate items from his collection.



GoGo to page with other prints from the Seba series, including snakes, etc.


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From Gentleman’s Magazine. 1759. 7 x 4 1/4. Engravings by B. Cole and T. Jefferys. Very good condition except as noted.

By the middle of the eighteenth century, a number of monthly magazines were being published in London. These magazines informed their readers on a variety of subjects, including natural history, topography, sports, and of course current affairs. These handsome natural history prints are fine examples.


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Prints by George Perry. From Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells. Original drawings by John Clarke. Engravings by William Miller. London: W. Bulmer and Co., 1811. Folio. Full margins. Excellent condition.

A beautifully rendered group of prints from Perry's Conchology. These are the only prints of shells made by that most elaborate and rich process of aquatinting. The plates are decorative and inventive pictures of shells colored richly and idiosyncratically. Though he was criticized in contemporary natural history circles for his apparent whimsy and lack of scientific concern, Perry has since been greatly vindicated. His Conchology is now considered a serious work and his "absurd" names have become generally accepted. Whatever the resolution of this scientific debate, the prints were produced with the finest craftsmanship, and are undeniably beautiful.



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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated September 12, 2014