John Clarke. Plate 20. “Cypraea.” From George Perry’s Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells.
London: W. Bulmer and Co., 1811. Approx. 13 x 9 1/2. Aquatint by William Miller. Very good condition.
A beautifully rendered print 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 highest craftsmanship, and are undeniably beautiful.
More shell prints from Perry's Conchology:
Plate 10. “Distorta; Rostellaria.”
Plate 34. “Cassidea; Nerites.”
Plate 37. “Terebellum; Cymbium.”
Plate 51. “Trigona; Planorbis; Columna.”
Plate 52. “Haliotis; Aquiaria; Orthoceras; Dentalia.”
Plate 60. “Arca; Ostrea; Anomia.”