Tag Archives: publications

Roeters van Lennep (1820-1879)

Freshly pressed: a new paper on the history of malacology, i.e. about the 19th Century Dutch cabinet collector H.C. Roeters van Lennep.

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H.C. Roeters van Lennep was one of the most famous Dutch shell collectors during the mid-19th century, for whom we here present new and additional biographical information. His collection was auctioned in 1876, but so far only a limited amount of information has been published on this topic. The details of the auction are reconstructed on the basis of his correspondence with H. Crosse. Such new information provides an insight into who buyers were during the auction, which prices were realised, and where parts of the material ended up. There ap- pears to have been a second auction in 1879 where possibly a large part of the remainder of the first auction was sold.

Breure, A.S.H. & Backhuys, W. Herman Christiaan Roeters van Lennep (1820-1879) and the auction of his collection. – Spirula, 418: 10-16.


Colonel Messager: a new paper

Freshly pressed: a new paper on the mysterious ‘Colonel Messager’ that is mentioned in the literature. This research was based on archival material in the Dautzenberg collection in Brussels, and the Messager material that is present in Paris.

The abstract reads: “We present a brief biography of Louis Gabriel Martin Messager, a French military who served in several French colonies during the last part of the 19th century and who is mentioned several time in the malacological literature as ‘Colonel Messager’. We present details on his collecting activities, also reflected in his correspondence to Bavay and Martel, and illustrated by some samples from his former collection. Also a list of eponyms is included”.

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Unfortunately we have been unable to find a picture of Messager, hence his name remains somewhat mysterious in the end.

Breure, A.S.H. & Páll-Gergely, B., 2019. More than just a name: Colonel Messager and his correspondents. – Zoosystema, 41 (2): 7-19. Link

The Linter collection

Lady-conchologists were a rare kind in the 19th century, and there are few documented collections of them, but recently a paper on Miss Linter appeared.

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The abstract reads: “Miss J.E. Linter, an English lady-conchologist, originally came from Devon but spent most of her life in Twickenham, London. Her collection was started following her acquisition of the Theobald and Skinner collections and grew to some 15,000 shells. The collection is primarily of land snails from all parts of the world and contains primary and secondary type material of authors such as Sowerby, Gude, Möllendorff, Kobelt and Strebel and probably many others. She went on to amass a collection rich in species that are invaluable to taxonomic research and to wider biodiversity studies especially concerning conservation. Her collection is held at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter”.

Morgenroth, H. et al., 2018. The Miss J.E. Linter (1844-1909) collection of land snails in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, England: a provisional assessment. – Colligo, 1 (2): 16 pp.

Morelet book launched

Last Saturday the book written by Jonathan Ablett, Cédric Audibert and myself about Arthur Morelet was presented during a meeting of the Netherlands Malacological Society in Leiden. Wim Backhuys opened with a short presentation on the Crosse archive, followed by my presentation.


The book is dedicated to the late Dolf van Bruggen and Wim Backhuys. Both he and Dolf’s widow, Mrs. Wenda van Bruggen-Gorter, received the ‘first specimens’.

I also presented a copy to Thierry Backeljau, one of the sponsors who made this book possible to distribute as a free PDF and as a low cost hard copy.

More information on the book on the NMV site; or you can directly download the book here (remind the password!).

Soon to be published: Morelet monograph

A monograph on Arthur Morelet

Those who are working with non-marine molluscs may have encountered the name of Morelet. He introduced more than 700 species names in – currently – 84 different families of land and freshwater molluscs. Who was Arthur Morelet and what has become of his huge collection?

Pierre Marie Arthur Morelet (1809-1892) was an amateur scientist who devoted himself to both shell collecting and botany. He organised several expeditions, of which those to Cuba and Central America (1846-1848) and the Azores (1857) are especially noteworthy. His contributions to malacology were thus significant and we have reconstructed his legacy with a survey of archival sources and his type material in the historical collections of several museums. 

The resulting monograph is made up of two parts. In the first part we present a bibliography, some remarks on the whereabouts of his collection, and more than 200 recovered letters (transcribed and translated) to contemporary malacologists, such as Crosse, Fischer, Baudon and Dautzenberg. His contact network has been reconstructed using data from his correspondence and his publications. This part offers an unique view into the world of malacology in the second half of the 19th century.

In the second part a bibliography of Morelet is presented, as well as all his newly introduced taxa, with detailed documentation and figures of the species. More than 80 per cent of his type material has been re-found and original figures, if they exist, have been reproduced for the remaining species. Of the taxa represented by actual shell material, more than 150 are now figured for the first time. The book has indices for both taxonomy and persons mentioned and is a must-have for anyone interested in the history of malacology and those dealing with non-marine molluscs.

The book, which has 544 pages and more than 1300 figures, is available after its launch on 23 June 2018. Thanks to financial support from Association Cernuelle (France), Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (Belgium), Natural History Museum (United Kingdom), and the Netherlands Malacological Society (Netherlands), the electronic version of the book is freely available at www.spirula.nl/andere-uitgaven/moreletEN. A printing on demand hard cover version of the book can be ordered at www.boekenbestellen.nl (search for title or ISBN) for
€ 67.50 (net price, excluding postage).

Breure, A.S.H., Audibert, C. & Ablett, J.D., 2018. Pierre Marie Arthur Morelet (1809-1892) and his contributions to Malacology. Netherlands Malacological Society, Leiden, 544 pp. 

ISBN 978-90-815230-2-8 (PDF) / 978-90-815230-0-4 (p.o.d.)

Just published: Crosse correspondence

My last paper this year deals with the correspondence of Hippolyte Crosse, managing director of the Journal de conchyliologie from 1861 till 1898. This archive contains nearly 3000 letters from 391 natural persons. We have listed all correspondents and provided examples of their handwriting of many persons, as well of photographs as far as these were available.

This archive is a rich source of information, which already has partly been studied in papers earlier this year, but much still waits for further research. The paper is available through the link on my publications page.

Breure, A.S.H. & Audibert, C., 2017. ‘Mon cher Directeur’: an inventory of the correspondence addressed to Hippolyte Crosse during his years as director of the ‘Journal de conchyliologie’. – Folia conchyliologica, 44: 3-108.

Tautonyms of Jousseaume

Just published: a paper on Jousseaume’s tautonyms by Leo van Gemert and myself.

We present a short biography of Félix-Pierre Jousseaume (12 April 1835-3 November 1921) and an addition to his bibliography. He published in total 138 malacological and 21 non-malacological articles or books. In the appendix additional references are listed in comparison with an earlier published preliminary bibliography. Jousseaume received many comments from other malacologists, especially for his tautonyms. Critical remarks from Weinkauff, Tryon, Woodward and Mellvill, and one comment from Jousseaume, are cited.

In total Jousseaume published 28 new species-level taxa as primary, absolute taunonyms (new genus and new species) and 24 secondary ones (22 with a new genus and 2 with a new species name). The virtual tautonyms (with almost identical genus and species names) are not discussed. However, for four taxa of Jousseaume it is unclear if the taxon is a tautonym or a virtual tautonym. In our view the problems were caused by carelessness of Jousseaume. These four taxa are discussed extensively and a conclusion is presented on the correct name. The results are shown in the tables with the original name (invariably the tautonym), source of the original name, and the present view on the taxon with the source and (explanatory) remarks”.

Gemert, L.J. van & Breure, A.S.H., 2017. The tautonyms of Jousseaume: a taxonomical studt. – Folia conchyliologica, 42: 14-23.