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Antoine Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville (1680 1765) was so bewitched by seashells that he authored one of the world's most spectacular books dedicated to seashells. His La Conchyliologie ou Histoire Naturelle des Coquilles de Mer, d'Eau Douce, Terrestres et Fossiles, published at Paris in 1780, was a summa of contemporary knowledge in the complementary fields of mineralogy and conchology, and was so popular as to turn the study of natural history into a fad in Paris. A botanist and art lover, Dezallier drafted life-size drawings of the seashells, hand-coloring them in rococo style and even using a mirror to illustrate them to best effect. TASCHEN's complete reprint of these 80 splendid hand-colored copper engraved plates, distinguished by their vivid colors and vast selection of rare, beautiful species, is taken from one of the finest original copies
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