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(1739? – 1825)

(Born: 1739?; Died: 1825) English conchologist, collector & mineral dealer.

Chief `commerical naturalist' in Britain for many years. He was the brother-in-law of the mineral dealer Jacob Forster. He inherited the immense conchological and mineralogical collections accumulated by his father. Part of this accumulation was sold at auction during April and May 1779 (see: Museum Humfredianum), while another portion was discovered by G.B. Sowerby: J. De Carle Sowerby in Mineral Conchology, 6 (1826), p. 3 wrote, "the collection purchased by my brother from the late Mr G. Humphries" and (p. 5) "which has been for many years unopened when my brother purchased it and disclosed its riches."

Biographical references: Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist.: 16 (1905), no. 7, 262 [by C.D. Sherborn]. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Historical Series: 6 (1977), no. 1, 5-6. Chalmers-Hunt, Natural History Auctions, 1976: 61. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 158. Cooper, M.P., "Keeping it in the family: the Humphreys, Forsters and Heulands", Matrix, 9, (2001), no. 1, 3-31. Dance, Shell Collecting, 1966. Proceedings Malac. Society: 11 (1915), 307 [by C.D. Sherborn].

1. English, 1779 [Sale catalog].
Museum Humfredianum: a Catalogue of the large and valuable Museum of Mr. George Humphrey; which is presumed to be the most capital of the kind ever offered to public Sale in this Kingdom: Comprehending many Thousand of curious subjects in Natural History, collected with great Judgment and Expence, from most Parts of the known World, during a Course of upwards of thirty Years: particularly Shells, Corals, other Marine Productions, Reptiles, Insects, and other Animals ...; most of the Species in the Fossil Kingdom; among them many rare and elegant Spars, Crystals (some of them matchless), Marbles, Agates, and other Stones; Ores and Minerals; Petrifacations ...; a Variety of Mahogany and other Cabinets, adapted for containing Subjects in Natural History; a range of elegant Mahogany Cases of the best Jamaica Wood, nine feet high, glazed with large Panes ...; a Mahogany Table, near thirty feet long, with large Show Glasses on the Top, and near 300 Drawers beneath, all glazed, a range of Mahogany Shelves with Cabinets containing 128 Drawers, glazed ... and great Number of other Articles ... Which will be sold by Auction ... on Monday, April 5, 1779, and the Twenty-nine following Days. London, Paterson, 1779.

8°: 168 p.

Very rare. Auction catalog listing a large portion of the natural history collections inherited from his father. The catalog contains 4,310 lots, including many minerals. Humphrey was a merchant in shells and minerals at least as early as 1790.

Bibliographical references: Chalmers-Hunt, Natural History Auctions, 1976: 61. Engelmann, Bibliotheca Historico-Naturalis, 1846: p. 11. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 274. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 184 & 2, 293. Wilson, History of Mineral Collecting, 1994: 75.

Museum Calonnianum. Specification of the Various Articles which Compose the Magnificent Museum of Natural History Collected by M. De Calonne in France, ... (London, 1797).
See under: Calonne, Charles Alexandre De.

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