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Natural History Art, Sea Shells, Print, Antique Art, Gualtieri, Florence, 1742, Antique Print


Niccolò Gualtieri (editor)
Giuseppe Menabuoni (1708-after 1745) (after)
Antonio Pazzi (1706-after 1768) (engraver)
Seashell Natural History Studies
from Index Testarum Conchyliorum [Index of Mollusk Shells]
G. Albizzini, Florence: 1742
Hand-colored engravings
14 x 9.25 inches, platemark
17.25 x 12.25 inches, overall
$750 each
Shown here is a sampling of typical prints from this set. Please inquire as to current inventory.

Natural history studies of a variety of seashells, arranged in rows against a white background, some standing on end and casting small shadows. They combine scientific observation and aesthetic appreciation of the lively interplay of the natural colors, textures, and shapes of the shells. Menabuoni and Pazzi created 110 splendid plates reproducing specimens of Gualtieri’s shell collection.

Product Description Continues Below


Niccolò Gualtieri was a medical doctor and professor at the University of Pisa, whose avocation was the study of mollusks. He assembled a major shell collection and devised a system of classification for this book, which was admired by later zoologists, such as Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. Part of his collection remains today at the Museum of Natural History and the Territory of Calci, operated under the auspices of the University of Pisa. Gualtieri also co-founded the first European botany society, the Botanical Society of Florence, in 1716.

Giuseppe Menabuoni was an Italian painter, draftsman and engraver based in Florence. He studied with Tommaso Redi.

Antonio Pazzi was an Italian painter and printmaker as well as an abbot. Born in Florence, he studied with Cosimo Mogalli, and engraved the well-known series of portraits of painters in the Florence Gallery for A.F. Gori’s Museum Florentinum (1731-62). He also engraved the natural history studies of seashells for Niccolò Gualtieri’s Index Testarum Conchyliorum. The Royal Gallery of Florence has his self-portrait in its collection.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light toning, soiling, minor wear, scattered spotting.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 6, p. 55 (Menabuoni), Vol. 6, p. 561 (Pazzi).

“Botanical Society of Florence.” Institute and Musem of the History of Science. 2004. (27 April 2005).

Dance, S. Peter. The Art of Natural History. New York: Arch Cape Press, 1990. p. 74 (illus.).

Hind, Arthur M. A History of Etching and Engraving from the 15th Century to the Year 1914. London: Constable and Co., 1927. p. 209 (Pazzi).

“Museo di Storia Naturale e del Territorio – Centro Interdipartimentale dell’Università degli Studi di Pisa.” Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza. April 2003. (27 April 2005).

Nissen, Claus. Die Zoologische Buchillustration: ihre Bibliographie und Geschichte. Stuttgart:1969-78. Vol. 1. 1736.

Additional information


18th Century