Some Shell Collection
One of our more interesting clients is the San Diego Museum of Natural History, located in Balboa Park. This past week we had the opportunity to go into their research library and photograph pages from old book. The photos will be used to make note cards to sell in the Museum shop. The book was printed in 1790. It was commissioned by a Maria Theresia Augusta. She seems to be a person of importance or at least of great wealth from Austria.
The book was large, about 15x18. We were not allowed to touch the book. A museum curator, with white gloves, handled the book and turned the pages. It was in great condition. They keep these books in a climate controlled vault.
Here is the title page. I think the book was written in Latin.
The purpose of the book was to catalog Ms. Augusta's collection of shells. After each plate there were pages describing each shell. The book was about 2.5-3 inches thick.
Here are three of the seven plates that we photographed:
The book was published in black ink. Each shell was reproduced as a line drawing. I have no idea how many of these books were made, but each page of shells was individually hand painted in water colors. This would have been done on each book published!
Really fascinating shoot. And for the first time in my life I got to stand in my stocking feet on top of a table in a library. Now how many of you can say that!!!