Lamarck Histoire Naturelle Coquille Multivalve Engraving Plate 173
Information This is a beautiful copperplate shell engraving plate 173, Vers Testaces a Coquille Bivalve Irreguliere on fine, chain-linked, water-marked paper from “Encyclopedia Methodique” published Paris, 1789-1832, by Charles Joseph Panckoucke and his daughter, Theresa-Charlotte Agasee.
Panckoucke(1736-1798) was a bookseller of Flemish descent who relied on the best specialists of his time to be able to publish “Encyclopedia Methodique” which consisted of over 200 volumes. The material was organized by subject area rather than alphabetically and Jean Baptiste Lamarck was recruited as the Botany and Shells editor.
Lamarck (1744-1829) was one of the most famous French naturalists of the 18th century. He took part in the war of The Seven Years with the Duke of Broglie. After abandoning the military career and returning to France, he settled in Paris, where he devoted himself to Medicina, Meterology and Botanic, for which he had as a master Bernard de Jussieu. He became well known after the publication of the catalogue La Flore Francaise, written using the dichotomic keys, a new method invented by the same Lamarck. As the botanist of the king, he started a long trip through Europe, taking with him Buffon’s son. When he returned, he worked at the Encyclopedie Methodique, continuing D’Alembert and Diderot’s work. After starting teaching at the Museum National d’Historie Naturelle, he spent all his time devoting himself to Zoology, with a particular interest in fossils and living mollusks. The scientific world owes him the reorganization of the classification and distinction between Vertebrates and Invertebrates and the introduction of new species divisions like Crustaceans, Arachnids and Annelids.
Some of the shell prints included in this work were drawn by noted French botanical artist, Redoute or his brother. They were published uncolored and color has been added by professional artists which only further enhance the beauty of these engravings.
Size and Condition This early engraving, Pl. 173, has 6 detailed illustrations and is in very good condition with a few minor spots. The size is approximately 8” x 11”. A sample title page is included with the print.