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The Mapping of North America

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IBBETSON, Capt. Levett Landon Boscawen

Notes on the Geology and Chemical Composition of the various Strata in the Isles of Wight

John van Voorst, Paternoster Row, London, 1849
Octavo (225 x 140 mm.), original brown cloth, with pasted on title label on the upper board, weakened spine with later paper cover and title. With Typographic title page, pp. 44, (2), with a coloured relief map of the Island constructed from plaster or similar material inside the front cover, complete with blank free endpapers. Some minor loss to the blue sea of the relief map, withdrawn library label from Hampshire County Library on the title, green library stamp on final leaf of Gosport Public Libraries, otherwise a good example of a very rare book.
Captain L. L. Boscawen Ibbetson (1799-1869) was a noted amateur geologist, inventor and soldier. He is well known as being involved in the early development of photography. He became a member of the London Electrical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society. A keen geologist his notable find was of the fossilised remains of ‘Hybodus’ on the Isle of Wight in 1845. This was a prehistoric shark. He worked on various geological surveys for the expansion of the railway network. He corresponded with Henry Thomas De la Beche and Sir Philip Malpas de Grey Egerton. His valuable fossil collection was presented to the Museum of Practical Geology, London.

There is little in the bibliographies about this work and it is extremely rare on the market. The title page refers to the ‘map in relief on the scale of three miles to one inch, coloured geologically’. This is a very unusual feature to publish in a book and adds considerably to its appeal. The collations that could be found on the book do not refer to the final two-page list of publications for the publisher John van Voorst.

This example is of further interest in bearing the ownership inscription of Mrs. Buckland, Deanery, Westminster. Mary Buckland (nee Morland) was born 1797, she became a noted palaeontologist, marine biologist and scientific illustrator. Whilst travelling in Dorset she met her future husband William Buckland, later Dean of Westminster, a noted geologist in his own right. They married in 1825. William Buckland mentioned Ibbetson in an address given in 1841 published in the ‘Proceedings of of the Geologist Association’ (iii. p. 476) for his work on quickly producing perfect drawings of fossils on metal. Mary Buckland amassed a vast collection of fossils herself. Provenance: ‘Mrs. Buckland, Deanery, Westminster’ inscribed on front free endpaper. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society v.26, 1870 p. xli.
Stock number: 9369

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