Indes Testarum Conchyliorum (1742)


Original etching and watercolor from Nicolo Gualtieri, 1742. The back of the plate has been matted and framed in order that the owner can still see the intricate work as well as the front of this rare etching. Original watercolor. We have only one available. Excellent condition as can be seen in the photographs. No stains.

Index Testarum Conchyliorum is one of the most important conchology books ever published. Gualtieri, a physician and professor, was an enthusiastic collector of shells and mollusks. Unsatisfied with the studies of the subject at the time, he hoped Index Testarum Conchyliorum would help to further the field. Gualtieri developed a classification system for this book that was well respected by later zoologists. He enlisted the artists Giuseppe Menabuoni and Antonio Pazzi, both Italian painters and print makers, to produce the plates. Some of the shells featured are still housed at The University of Pisa’s Museum of Natural History.

Many pages feature engravings on both sides; therefore, the plate marks from the verso are visible on some prints. The prints here feature exquisite contemporary hand coloring. The prints are on fine chain link paper measuring 12 1/2″ by 18 1/4″.

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