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Book Illustration, Kaigara Danmen Zuan (shell book)

This is a book illustration.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from Smithsonian Libraries and Archives as part of Making Design.

It is dated 1913. Its medium is woodcut.

Yoichiro Hirase was a Japanese collector, dealer, and scholar of malacology (study of mollusks). He began his collection of shells in 1898, in Kyoto, while also dispatching assistants to collect shells from other parts of Japan, China, Korea, and Taiwan. In 1903, he set up business as a specimen shell dealer, selling to collectors and museums around the world. From 1907 to 1915, he privately published a periodical, as well as a number of books, on mollusks.
Hirase’s greatest contributions to malacology, however, were the large shipments of specimens that he sent to Henry A. Pilsbry for identification between 1901–8. Pilsbry (1862–1957) was an American biologist, malacologist, and carcinologist (crustacean scientist), at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. The relationship between the two men was one of mutual benefit: Pilsbry obtained samples from little-known molluscan fauna, from which he described many new species; in return, he sent Hirase definitive identifications that enhanced the value of the specimens offered for sale to collectors all over the world. Of the 3,500 shells that Hirase collected, 1,000 were new discoveries.

It is credited Courtesy of Smithsonian Libraries.

Its dimensions are

Closed: 33.5 x 23 x 1 cm (13 3/16 x 9 1/16 x 3/8 in.) Open: 33.5 x 44 cm (13 3/16 x 17 5/16 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Book Illustration, Kaigara Danmen Zuan (shell book) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>