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Emanuel Mendes da Costa
MENDES DA COSTA, Emanuel.

MENDES DA COSTA, Emanuel.
(1717 - 1791)

(Born: London, England, 4 June 1717; Died: May 1791) English mineralogist & conchologist.

Mendes da Costa had a wide ranging interest in natural history, and earned his living as a dealer in shells and minerals and by writing and lecturing. He also took a clerkship at the Royal Society from 1763 until 1767 when his embezzlement of subscriptions led to his imprisionment.

Biographical references: Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. American Journal of Science: 1st Series, 37 (1839), 155. BBA: I 298, 39; II 1421, 28; 269, 105-106. Cleevely, World Palĉontological Collections, 1983: 95. DNB: 12, 271. Gentleman's Magazine: 82 (1812), pt. 1, 22-4, 205-7 & 513-7. Journal of Conchology: 23 (1949), 45-6. Poggendorff: 1, col. 484. Proceedings Malac. Society: 15 (1922), 86-7. Science Monthly: January, 1922, 67-82. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. Whitehead, P.J.P., "[Mendes da Costa]", Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Historical Series, 6, (1977), no. 1, 1-24.

Natural History of Fossils, 1757

1. English, 1757.
A | Natural History | Of | Fossils. | By Emanuel Mendes da Costa, Fellow of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies of London, and Member | of the Imperial Academy Naturĉ Curiosorum of Germany. | [rule] | Vol. 1. Part I. | [rule] | [...3 lines of quotation, signed Seneca...] | [rule] | London, | Printed for L. Davis and C. Reymers, against Grays-Inn-Gate, | Holbourn, | Printers to the Royal Society. | MDCCLVII.

4°: a4 B-Z4 Aa-Oo4 Pp-Qq2; 151l.; [i]-vi, [2], [1]-294 p., one plate (showing the basalt columns of Giant's Causeway). Page size: 254 x 208 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; [iii]-vi, "Preface."-dated 5 June 1757.; [2 pgs], "A | List | Of The | Subscribers."; [Plate].; [1]-294, Text.

Rare. This is the first volume of a proposed multivolume work, which was never completed due to an insufficent number of subscribers. It contains the preface and descriptions of Earths and Stones. This volume also contains an interesting description and a frontispiece showing Giant's Causeway, a scenic geologic outcropping of columnar basalt.

Another issue: Another probably later issue exists where the "Vol. 1, pt. I" has been removed from the title page. The work is in all other respects identical to the other issue.

Bibliographical references: BL. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 37. LKG: XII 50. NUC: 375, 5 [NM 0445513]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 2, ??. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 4378. Smith, Early Mineralogy in Great Britain, 1978: 52. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 1539. Woodward, History of Geology, 1911: 17.

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