Index Testaceologicus; or a catalogue of shells, British and foreign, arranged according to the Linnean system; With the Latin and English name, references to authors, and places where found. Illustrated with 2300 figures. Second edition, corrected and revised.

  • Wood, William
  • London: Printed for W. Wood 1828


SKU: 5803 Category: Tag:


8vo, pp. xxii, [ii], 212 + 38 engraved plates. Early twentieth century half black morocco for Henry Sotheran, green cloth boards, spine divided by raised bands, lettered in gilt, top edge gilt. Some spotting and foxing. Spine faded to brown. Bookseller’s label and ink ownership inscription of Spencer Ewart to front pastedown.


Though named the second, this is the third edition of conchologist and bookseller William Wood's (1774-1857) most influential work, with the first edition printed in 1818, and a second following in 1825. A supplement was printed separately in 1828 as well. Having initially adhered to the Linnean system, Wood here first acknowledges the changing tide towards the French Lamarckian system, providing a table comparing the two. In the preface, Wood states that the first six plates were engraved by James Sowerby, but that the rest were 'executed under the immediate inspection of the Author', though the ODNB notes that fellow naturalist William Swainson credited Wood's son for the engravings.
Wood began his career as a surgeon, but his interest in natural history pulled him away from medicine, and he began selling books in the Strand in 1815. This change provided the time and connections with other naturalists to delve deeper into his passion, and he gained a reputation as 'the most learned bookseller in London for works connected with natural history', according to Swainson.

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