New Harmony, In. Printed at the School Press, 1830-1832. Five parts bound in one volume. pp. plus fifty handcolored engraved plates. [bound with:] A GLOSSARY TO SAY'S CONCHOLOGY. New Harmony, In.: Printed by Richard Beck & James Bennett, 1832. ,25pp. Later three-quarter calf and marbled boards, spine richly gilt, with the name of collector John Neal stamped in gilt at the foot of the spine. Boards worn at extremities. Trimmed a bit close, not affecting text or images. Intermittent tanning, but the plates are generally quite clean and fresh. Very good. Item #WRCAM46047
The first five parts of the New Harmony edition of Thomas Say's AMERICAN CONCHOLOGY, here with the rare GLOSSARY TO SAY'S CONCHOLOGY. Say's pioneering work, devoted to American shells, was printed at the School Press at the utopian colony of New Harmony, Indiana. The GLOSSARY, which was issued with the fifth part of the work and present here, is seldom found. The first five parts of Say's work consisted of ten plates each; the first part was issued in 1830, with the second and third parts in 1831, and the fourth and fifth parts and the GLOSSARY in 1832. Two additional parts were issued, in 1834 and 1838; however, in our experience it is not uncommon to find the first five parts only of Say's work, as in the present volume. Say began his career as a naturalist in Philadelphia before 1810. While his first published works were all entomological, he began gathering material on shells at an early date, and supplemented his knowledge with information gathered during numerous expeditions in the United States, including the Long expedition on the Great Plains in 1819-20. In 1827 he joined several other distinguished naturalists of the period in Robert Owen's utopian experiment at New Harmony, Indiana, and helped to establish the printing office at the school there. Having completed the work on his AMERICAN ENTOMOLOGY... before moving, he was able to devote all his time to AMERICAN CONCHOLOGY. The first number appeared in 1830, followed by five additional sections through 1834. The last part, published after Say's death, is usually dated 1838, but may actually have been printed later than that and somewhere other than New Harmony. The rest of the text was printed at the School Press and the plates were beautifully colored by the students, nine of whom worked on the project at one time. All the products of the New Harmony press are rare, and this, the only one with color plates, is particularly so. As a piece of American natural history it is the pioneering and major work in its field, by one of the great American naturalists. "Here are hand- colored copperplate engravings diamond fine in their precision. There was not even any varnish used to heighten the coloring. Looking at these little shells, it almost seems possible to pick them off the page" - McGrath. "A work as extraordinary for having been produced in the wilderness as for its elegance and the importance of its contribution to natural history" - Streeter. BYRD & PECKHAM 414, 449, 450, 485, 486, 487. STREETER SALE 1413. BENNETT, p.94. MEISEL III:405. SABIN 77368. NISSEN, ZBI 3614. McGRATH, pp.15-16. AMERICAN IMPRINTS 3402 (1830), 9099 (1832), 14607-14609 (1832).