Description Anatomique d'un Cameleon, d'un Castor, d'un Dromadaire, d'un Ours, et d'une Gazelle. Claude PERRAULT.

Description Anatomique d'un Cameleon, d'un Castor, d'un Dromadaire, d'un Ours, et d'une Gazelle.

Fine woodcut vignette on title & five fine folding engraved plates. 120 pp. 4to, fine antique calf, spine nicely gilt. [Paris: F. Leonard, 1669].

First edition of the second publication of the “Parisians,” a famous group of anatomists in Paris; their publications mark the beginnings of modern comparative anatomy. “The constitution of the French Academy of Science in 1666 established a school of morphology to which the modern development of comparative anatomy may be directly traced...The longevity of the early Parisian anatomists was remarkable...Their leader was the veteran Claude Perrault...it was due mainly to his influence that a number of the early members of the French Academy, who are often conveniently referred to in the literature of the period as the ‘Parisians’, laid the foundations of our modern knowledge of comparative anatomy.”–Cole, A History of Comparative Anatomy, pp. 393-95 (& see pp. 393-425).

The leading members of the “Parisians” were, beside Perrault, Guichard Joseph Duverney, Jean Pecquet, Moyse Charas, and Philippe de la Hire.

“In June 1667 the Academy was invited to dissect a thresher shark and a lion which had died at the royal menagerie. The reports on these dissections were the first of a long series of anatomical descriptions, which ultimately included those of twenty-five species of mammals, seventeen birds, five reptiles, one amphibian, and one fish...

“Although some of the discoveries on which the Parisians most prided themselves — including the nictitating membrane that Perrault first observed in a cassowary, the external lobation of the kidneys in the bear, and the castoreal glands of the beaver — had been observed earlier, no such detailed and exact descriptions and illustrations had been published before.”–D.S.B., X, pp. 519-20.

Fine copy.

Price: $6,500.00

Item ID: 426

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