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Catalogue systematique et raisonne des Curiosites de la Nature et de l'Art, qui composent le Cabinet de M. Davila.
1767. Paris, Briasson, 1767. 3 volumes. 8vo (195 x 130mm). pp. xxxv, (1), 571; vi, 656; vi, 290, (6), 286, (1), with 30 (many folded) engraved plates. Contemporary mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, maroon title-labels, minor restoration to top and bottom of spines of two volumes, an attractive set. Don Pedro Francisco Davila (1713-85) was a Peruvian gentleman, who lived in Paris were he maintained a collection of natural history objects and works of art. "Several years later Davila had to return to Peru for family reasons and decided to sell his collections. He published a lavish, illustrated catalogue in three volumes, the first being chiefly devoted to shells, in the compilation of which he was assisted by the Abbe de Gua de Malves and J.B.L. Rome de l'Isle (who was largerly responsible for the second volume, which dealt with minerals). The Linnaean system is mentioned only in connection with the minerals. Surprisingly, Adanson, who clearly despised dilettante collectors was well acquainted with Davila's collections and contributed a flattering 'approval' to the first volume, expressing his regret that they were to be dismembered and urging some 'sovereign' to buy them in their entirety. In 1767 they were sold piecemeal, 1,007 shell items realizing 26,933 francs ..." (Dance pp. 60-61). 22 of the plates depict shells. The second volume by Jean Rome de l'Isle describes the mineral collection of Davila. "Of interest to the gemologist in this volume are Davila's collections of marbles, flints, jaspers, agates, other chalcedonic varieties of quartz, opals, jades, and precious stones ... Elsewhere are listed dendritic agates ... and amber" (Sinkankas 1594). Nissen ZBI, 1050; See also Wilson, The History of Mineral Collecting, p. 50..
      [Bookseller: Antiquariaat Junk]
Last Found On: 2014-02-11           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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