Book Illustration, Kaigara Danmen Zuan (shell book), 1913
This is a Book Illustration.
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.