Tortoises, terrapins, and turtles drawn from life - PDF book by James de Carle Sowerby

Tortoises, terrapins, and turtles are drawn from life  book by James de Carle  Sowerby 

an illustration from the book

We are informed in the original Prospectus that " The whole of the drawings are from the inimitable pencil of Mr James Sowerby; and the author feels that he is only doing justice to that distinguished artist in natural objects when he states that in the correctness of delineation, minute and elaborate execution, and taste in the general arrangement of the figures, nothing within the range of zoographical illustration has ever surpassed them.

The Plates will be lithographed by Mr Lear, coloured (so as to form the most perfect facsimiles of the drawings) by Mr Bayfield. The joint talent of these excellent artists exhibited in the illustrations of the Psittacidse of the former gentleman renders it unnecessary to say that the ability of the painter will be ably seconded by that of the lithographer and colourist." Which I entirely endorse. The unsold stock and unpublished plates were purchased at Mr. Highley's sale by Mr. Sotheran, and the work has been in abeyance for many years.

Mr. Bell has declined to furnish the text for the unpublished plates. In this difficulty Mr Sotheran applied to me, and feeling that it was much to be regretted that such beautiful and accurate plates should be lost to science, and considering that such minutely accurate and detailed figures would not require to be accompanied by a description, I agreed to add a few lines of text to each Plate, containing first the original name that Mr. Bell placed upon them, then the name used in the Museum Catalogue of Tortoises, so as to bring the nomenclature to the level of our present knowledge of these animals, at the same time referring to a work in which the synonymy of the species is to be found. I have also added a few lines on the habits and manners of the species from works of authors who have had the opportunity of observing them in their native country. Many of the specimens figured and the rest of Mr. Bell's Collection of Reptiles are now to be found in the Anatomical and Zoological Museum at Cambridge.

Author: James de Carle Sowerby 
Publication Date:1872

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