old print of colorful shells

Helix, Strigula: Perry 1811

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  • Title: Helix, Strigula, PL. 15
  • Author: George Perry
  • Date: 1811
  • Medium: Hand-colored aquatint
  • Condition: Very Good +
  • Inches: 9 3/4 x 13 1/2 [Image]
  • Centimeters: 24.77 x 34.29 [Image]
  • Product ID: 3010037

George Perry, British naturalist and expert in malacology (the study of mollusks), published two major natural history works during his lifetime. One of them Arcana; or the museum of natural history, a richly-illustrated natural history magazine, was released in monthly installments from January 1810 to September 1811. He published his other major work, Conchology, or the natural history of shells, in 1811. The majority of Perry’s contemporaries ascribed to Linnaean taxonomy, the system of natural classification devised by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in the eighteenth century. However, Perry adhered to the taxonomic system and theories of evolution popularized by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. As a result of these dissenting views, Perry’s work was deliberately ignored at the time by many of his fellow British naturalists. Very little is known about him today.

Includes the following page of corresponding descriptive text:

UNIVALVES. PLATE XV.

Genus. HELIX.
Character. Shell slightly spiral; the body and mouth very much rounded, orbiculated, the outside rime of the mouth ending at the umbilicus, which stands underneath; part of the body naked, and without a columella, projecting into the mouth, having no bea.
Species.
No. 1. Helix Pictoria. Shell richly striped with brown, blue, and yellow; the mouth brown, and circularly formed
No. 2. Helix Grisea. Shell gray, striped with purple bands, variegated; one of the folds of the spire orange colour; mouth white. From a shell in the British Museum. Native place unknown.
No. 3. Helix Cincta. Shell striped with red and white; spire yellow; mouth gray, slightly quadrated.
No. 4. Helix Colubrina. Shell yellow, streaked red, with a small pattern like a half moon, or the back of a snake; mouth brown. A native of the Mediterranean Sea, and rather rare.
No. 5. Helix Subviridis. Shell striped with different bands of green; mouth purple; the spire slightly pointed. From the coast of New Zealand.

Genus. STRIGULA.
Character. Shell spiral, tapering in the spire, having no beak; round at the bottom; the mouth very narrow and oblong, having a rim all round, with strong and prominent teeth, projecting inwardsly and variously.
Species.
No. 1. Strigula Ornata. Shell of a pale green, shaded ornamentally with brown streaks; rim of the mouth white, the inside of a rich brown. This shell is very rare, and found only in the Southern Ocean.
No. 2. Strigula Fusiformis. Shell red, richly spotted with black wavy spots, forming a singular and striking pattern; the mouth brown, with a white rim. Native place unknown.
No. 3. Strigula Maculata. Shell pale mottled red, closely spotted with black marks; mouth of dark brown, and the rim white. From a shell in the Collection of the Author.
No. 4. Strigula Purpurea. Shell wholly purple, except the mouth and rim, which are of a warm brown colour.

REMARKS

The genus Helix will be readily distinguished by the circumstance of the rim running only round a part of the mouth which distinguishes it from the Pomacea. These shells are generally very thin in their texture; they are found in fresh-water rivers, and on dry land; a considerable variety of them are found even in England. The Strigula is distinguished from the other shells of a similar form by a very narrow twisting mouth, having teeth on each side, and, like the Helix, is very thin in the texture of its substance. From the resemblance which the shells of this genus bear to a mouth armed with teeth, they have sometimes been denominated the Grinning shells; the internal structure must be rather curious, for they are generally flattened from front to back, like the Biplex, before described, and of course considered as deviating from the common form of circular-bodied shells, which chiefly predominate in nature.