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[PALEONTOLOGY] HAWKINS, Thomas (1810–1889). The Book of the Great Sea-Dragons, Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri…Extinct Monsters of the Ancient Earth. With Thirty Plates Copied from Skeletons in the Author’s Collection of Fossil Organic Remains (Deposited in the British Museum). London: W. Pickering, 1840. Oblong folio. FIRST EDITION. Engraved frontispiece by John Martin, 29 lithographed plates by H. O’Neil, B.G. Rossiter and G. Scharf, including one large folding with flaps on 2 sheets joined, of fossilized skeletal remains, expertly mounted on linen (some pale spotting, plate II dampstained at upper margin). Handsomely bound in contemporary half green morocco over green silk moiré covers, gilt ruled in Greek key rolls and palmettes, large crimson morocco cover label titled in gilt and ornately framed in gilt tooling, raised bands, compartments completely tooled with gilt ornaments, marbled endpapers (covers gently cockled). Lacking title and textual pages. Provenance: circular engraved bookplate of Richard Morland. First edition of one of the first scientific studies of dinosaurs by the paleontologist and fossil collector and dealer, Thomas Hawkins, whose specimens are still on display at the Natural History Museum in London.
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