British mineralogy, or, Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain


British mineralogy, or, Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain

Title Variants

Alternative: Coloured figures intended to elucidate the mineralogy of Great Britain


Sowerby, James, 1757-1822

Sowerby, George Brettingham, 1788-1854
Sowerby, James de Carle, 1787-1871
Richard Taylor and Co., , printer.
Arding and Merrett, , printer.




Published material

Publication info

London, Printed by R. Taylor and Co., Black-Horse-Court, Fleet-street, and sold by the author, J. Sowerby, at No. 2, Mead Place, Lambeth; and by White, Fleet-street; Symonds, Pater-noster-row; and all other b, MDCCCIV-MDCCCXVII [i.e. 1802-1817]


Vol. 5 printed by Arding and Merrett.

Issued in parts, beginning in 1802 (approximate dates of publication based on the dates that are engraved on most of the plates). According to the Natural History Museum (U.K.) catalog record for this publication, "the text at first was not always issued with the illustrations." For a list of dates of issue for parts numbered I through LXXVIII (Nov. 1, 1802-Nov. 1, 1813), see L.H. Conklin, "James Sowerby: his publications and collections," in Mineral books, edited by W.E. Wilson (Tucson : the Mineral record, 1995), p. 103-104. According to Conklin, "if the usual format was adhered to, six or seven more parts were issued after no. 77, but the publication schedule apparently slowed down significantly. The work concluded with plate DL (550) in 1817."

Originally sold by subscription. Once all parts were produced, the publication was also sold in completed sets.

The publisher provided title pages for binding the set into 5 volumes, with the individual title pages dated as follows: v. 1: 1804; v. 2: 1806; v. 3: 1809; v. 4: 1811; v. 5: 1817.

According to Conklin, the phrase "(with assistance)" on t.p. is assumed to refer to help from Sowerby's sons, James De Carle and George Brettingham Sowerby.

The plates are numbered continously throughout the five volumes.

The plates are copper-plate engravings in black or colored ink, finished with hand-watercoloring.

Errors in numeration: Plate 421 is misnumbered 221 in some copies (the plate number is correct in the Cullman Library copy); Plate 413 and 415 have their numbers interchanged.

"As shown by a copy of the first volume in the original wrappers, and by the dates on the plates throughout, the first part of this work was issued 1 Nov., 1802 and subsequent parts up to 1 Oct., 1805, appeared on the first of each month. No part seems to have been issued for November of that year, and publication then proceeded on alternate months beginning with February in 1806, with January in 1807, and with February again for the years 1808 to 1811. The issue then became irregular, parts appeared in February, April, June and August 1812, and in February, July, September and November 1813."--Wellcome Library record, viewed in Copac online catalog.

Each volume has its own index. In addition, v. 5 contains a "Systematic index to British mineralogy" (v. 5, p. [2]-[9], 4th group) and an "Index to British mineralogy" (v. 5, p. [10]-[24], 4th group).

Each volume contains a list of errata at the end of the text.

Schuh, C. Mineralogy & crystallography, | 5076

BM (Nat. Hist.) | v. 5, p. 1982


Encyclopedias , Geology , Great Britain , Mineralogy , Precious stones

Call Number

QE381.G7 S69x




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.title.63277
LCCN: https://lccn.loc.gov/gs05000481
OCLC: 2945666


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