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Recent Arrivals in Embryology


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Embryology Books & Ephemera



    Ueber die Bildung des Darmkanals im bebrüteten Hühnchen. Uebersetzt und mit einleitenden Abhandlung und Anmerkungen versehen von Johann Friedrich Meckel by WOLFF, Caspar Friedrich

    Two folding engraved plates. 263, [1] pp. 8vo, orig. German marbled boards (extremities with minor wear & rubbing), orig. label on spine. Halle: Renger, 1812. First separate edition and the first edition in German. "One of the acknowledged classics of embryology."­Garrison-Morton 471­(describing the publication of the Latin original in the journal of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1768-69). Wolff's description of the formation of the chick's intestine by the rolling inward of the leaf-like layer of the blastoderm was important for proving his theory of epigenesis, and at the same time disproving preformationism. These leaf-like layers were a potent influence in the work of Pander and Baer, who praised this book highly. Wolff's paper was largely ignored until the appearance of this translation into Germany by Meckel, who added a 56-page introduction and notes. "The publication of Meckel's translation of Wolff's treatise on the formation of the intestines of the chick was an event whose importance, in view of the profound influence which this work exerted upon Pander and von Baer, it would be difficult to overestimate."­Adelmann, Marcel Malpighi and the Evolution of Embryology, IV, pp. 1652-1702. "It is interesting to note that the facts brought forward by Wolff have never been contradicted, but have been used as a foundation to which numberless morphological embryologists have added facts discovered by themselves."­Needham, A History of Embryology, pp. 221-23. In several places Wolff describes the mesonephroi, the renal organs now known as "Wolffian bodies." These descriptions are briefer than the ones in his Theoria Generationis (1759), "but are in some respects a distinct improvement on his earlier accounts" (Adelmann). Very good clean copy. Blind library stamp on title and on p. 259. Inked withdrawn stamp on verso of title and a small hole in blank margin of first plate.



    Considerations sur les Corps Organisés, Ou l'on traite de leur Origine, de leur Développement, de leur Réproduction, &c. & ou l'on a rassemblé en abrégé tout ce que l'Histoire Naturelle offre de plus certain & de plus intéressant sur ce sujet by BONNET, Charles

    xlii, one leaf of errata, 274 pp.; xx, 328 pp. Two vols. 8vo, cont. polished mottled calf (small inkstain to outer lower corner of the first 30 leaves), triple gilt fillet round sides, flat spines nicely gilt, red & green morocco lettering pieces on spines. Amsterdam: M.M. Rey, 1762. First edition and a lovely set of this important work. Bonnet (1720-93), is considered one of the fathers of modern biology. He was an enthusiastic champion of preformation, the theory postulating that the animal already existed in miniature in the germ cell, which is first stated in this work. "Bonnet's theory of generation offered the best synthesis of 18th-century ideas of development and remained a leading authority until von Baer...He used many of Haller's arguments to support his own opinions."-Garrison-Morton 472. Pretty set with the stamp on half-titles of Antoine Passy (1792-1873), French biologist and geologist. ❧ Needham, A History of Embryology, pp. 213-14.



    Opuscules de Physique, Animale et Végétale...traduits de l'Italien, et augmenté d'une Introduction dans laquelle on fait connoître les decouvertes microscopiques dans les trois Règnes de la Nature...par Jean Senebier...On y a joint plusieurs Lettres relatives à ces Opuscules écrites...par Mr. Charles Bonnet & par d'autres Naturalistes célébres by SPALLANZANI. Lazzaro

    Six folding engraved plates. 4 p.l., cxxiv, 255, [1] pp.; 1 p.l., [2], 405, [3] pp. Two vols. 8vo, cont. mottled calf, flat spines gilt, red morocco lettering pieces on spines. Geneva: B. Chirol, 1777. [with]: -. Expériences sur la Digestion de l'Homme et de différentes Espèces d'Animaux...Avec des Considérations sur sa Méthode de faire des Expériences, & les Conséquences pratiques qu'on peut tirer en Médecine de ses découvertes; par Jean Senebier. 1 p.l., cxlix, [1], 320 pp. 8vo, binding as above. Geneva: B. Chirol, 1783. A most attractive set, bound uniformly with the spines numbered "Tom I, II, III." I. First edition in French (1st ed., in Italian: 1776) of one of Spallanzani's most important works, containing "five reports that displayed unexcelled experimental skill, remarkable powers of observation and lucid literary talent."-D.S.B., XII, p. 557-(& see pp. 557-58 for a full discussion of this book's contents). The first volume contains Spallanzani's refutation of Needham's theories on spontaneous generation. The main treatise in the second volume confirmed and extended Leeuwenhoek's observations on spermatozoa and refuted Buffon's concepts of their nature and origin. II. First edition in French of Senebier's translation of Spallanzani's important study on digestion (1st ed, in Italian: 1780). "Spallanzani confirmed earlier doctrines of the solvent property of the gastric juice and discovered the action of saliva in digestion."-Garrison-Morton 981 for the Italian edition. Fine copies with the contemporary armorial bookplate of "Mr. Chrétien de Treveneuc" in each volume. ❧ I. Garrison-Morton 102-(1st ed.)-"Later confutation of the theory of spontaneous generation. Spallanzani's conclusions were similar to those expressed by Pasteur nearly a century later." Neville, II, p. 499-"In the present treatise of chemical interest he demonstrated that the duration of heat necessary to render an organic infusion sterile varied with the type of microorganism. He hermetically seals his flasks and proved that if both the infusion and contained air had been sterilized, no living cells developed. The views of Buffon and J.T. Needham on spontaneous generation were thus overturned, paving the way for the research of Pasteur almost a century later.".



    Exercitationes de Generatione Animalium, quibus accedunt quaedam De Partu: de Membranis ac humoribus Uteri: & de Conceptione by HARVEY, William

    London: Du-Gardianis, 1651. First. hardcover. very good. (26), 1 blank, 301 pages + errata. Small 4to, contemporary vellum, wallet edges; small library stamps on page 1, title page. verso, and page 50. Londini: Typis Du-Gardianis; impensis Octaviani Pulleyn, 1651. First edition. A very good(+) copy with title page re-hinged, and unfortunately lacking the engraved frontispiece but the pages are rather clean aside from the 4 stamps. In this renowned collection of observations on embryology and generation Harvey formulated "the first fundamentally new theory of generation since antiquity" by "shifting attention to the egg itself as a primary generative agent." (--DSB 6, 159). The product of lifelong experiments, the treatise contradicted the traditional Aristotelian views on generation by stating that all life developed epigenetically, either literally in an egg or according to the analogy of the egg. This principle was of great importance in the history of embryology and led to the search for the mammalian ovum. Exercitationes, "the most important book on the subject to appear during the 17th century" also contains a chapter on midwifery, the first original work on obstetrics by an English author. Garrison- Morton, 467, 6146. Keynes 34. Wing H-1091; Waller 4118; Osler 710.



    Art de faire éclorre et d'élever en toute saison des Oiseaux domestiques de toutes Especes, soit par le moyen de la chaleur du fumier, soit par le moyen de celle du feu ordinaire by RÉAUMUR, René Antoine Ferchault de

    16 folding engraved plates & 11 engraved headpieces. xviii, 364 pp.; 2 p.l., 427 pp. Two vols. Small 8vo, cont. polished mottled calf (short split to foot of lower joint of Vol. II), spines gilt, red & citron morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: de l'Imprimerie Royale, 1751. Second edition, considerably enlarged, and a fine association copy: this belonged to Charles Bonnet (1720-93), "one of the fathers of modern biology" (D.S.B.), who has signed both title-pages and made a note on the free front-endpaper of each volume "Donné par l'illustre Auteur." Bonnet was a student of Réaumur and both worked on regeneration. It was Réaumur's suggestion that inspired Bonnet to work on aphids which led to his first - in 1746 - and greatest discovery, the parthenogenesis of the aphid. The two had been frequent correspondents since 1737. This is an early and famous work on the artificial incubation of eggs. "But the most famous of all the attempts to make artificial as successful as natural incubation were those of de Réaumur, whose book De l'art de faire éclore les Poulets of 1749 achieved a wide renown. He devotes many chapters to a detailed description of incubators of very various kinds; but he nowhere gives any indication of his percentage hatch. It was probably low. He speaks also of the 'funestes effets' of the vapours of the dung on the developing embryos, without, however, furnishing any foundation for an exact teratology. In the second volume he describes those experiments on the preservation of eggs by varnish which caught the imagination of Maupertuis and were held up to an immortal but by no means deserved ridicule by Voltaire in his Akakia."-Needham, A History of Embryology, p. 203. The finely engraved plates and headpieces show every step of artificial incubation in great detail. This enlarged edition has an extra "Mémoire" with an accompanying additional plate. Fine set and a wonderful association copy, linking two of the greatest natural historians of the 18th century. ❧ D.S.B., XI, pp. 327-35.



    Die Potenzen der Ascaris-Blastemeren bei abgeänderter Furchung. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Frage qualitativ-ungleicher Chromosomen-Teilung by Boveri, Theodor

    Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1910. First edition. Boveri, Theodor (1862-1915). Die Potenzen der Ascaris-Blastemeren bei abgeänderter Furchung. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Frage qualitativ-ungleicher Chromosomen-Teilung. Offprint from Festschrift zum sechzigsten Geburtstag Richard Hertwigs (Jena: Gustav Fischer, 1910), vol. 3. [4], 133-214pp. 6 chromolithographed double-page plates, text illustrations. 284 x 203 mm. (uncut and unopened). Original printed wrappers, small tear in front wrapper. Fine copy. First Edition, offprint issue. Boveri's demonstrations of chromosome individuality (see Garrison-Morton 231.1) and his proof that different chromosomes perform different functions in development (see Garrison-Morton 241.1) "laid the basis for the cytological explanation of Mendel's law of heredity" (E. B. Wilson, quoted in the Dictionary of Scientific Biography). His cytological studies of the eggs of the roundworm Ascaris megalocephala, begun in the late 1880s, "later (1904, 1909, 1910) led to an appreciation of the importance of the cytoplasm in nuclear control . . . At a time when much emphasis was placed on the overwhelming importance of the nucleus in development, Boveri wrote almost prophetically on the significance of reciprocal interaction between nucleus and cytoplasm" (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). Boveri's 1910 paper deals with the powers of the Ascaris blastema in a modified segmentation, and discusses the question of unequal division of chromosomes.



    De Humano Foetu Libellus by ARANZI, Giulio Cesare

    Woodcut printer's device on title. 4 p.l. (last leaf a blank), 79 pp. Small 8vo, somewhat later vellum over boards. Bologna: J. Rubrius, 1564. First edition of an extremely rare book in which Aranzi (1530-89), professor of anatomy at Bologna, describes his discovery of "the ductus venosus of the fetus that runs to the umbilical cord."-Castiglioni, A History of Medicine, p. 428. He was the first to state the maternal and foetal circulations were separate, and found the highly oxygenated blood supply was connected from the placenta through the ductus venosus to the foetal circulation. "His De Humano Foetu was an important book...he was the first to maintain that the maternal and foetal circulations are separate, but he naturally did not, and could not, speak of circulations, since he lived before Harvey. Nor could he have proved his point satisfactorily with the means then at his command, and, as we shall see, it was to take another century before the proof was given. Apart from this valuable contribution to embryology, Arantius gave some admirable anatomical descriptions of the foetal membranes."-Garrison, A History of Embryology, p. 105. Aranzi studied medicine under his famous uncle, Bartolomeo Maggi (1477-1552), lecturer in surgery at the University of Bologna. He was also one of the best students of Vesalius (who is mentioned on page 46). Aranzi was, along with Aldrovandi and Fabricius ab Aquapendente, one of the three greatest Italian embryologists of the period. "The excellent scientific and practical preparation Aranzio had received from his uncle immediately brought him fame. He discovered the pedes hippocamp; the cerebellum cistern; and the fourth ventricle, the arterial duct between the aorta and the pulmonary duct... "In 1564 Aranzio published De humano foetu opusculum, and fifteen years later his Observationes anatomicae appeared. In these he presented the new direction of anatomy, based not merely on simple description of the organs of the body but also on experimental investigations of their functions."-D.S.B., I, p. 204. Very good copy preserved in a morocco box. 13 leaves a little wormed in lower outer margin. Some contemporary annotations. This is a rare book; for example, there was no copy in the Norman collection. ❧ Dobson, Anatomical Eponyms, p. 14. Garrison-Morton 464-"Aranzi believed the maternal and foetal circulations to be separate. He described the ductus arteriosus and ductus venosus of the foetus, and the corpora Arantii in the heart valves. Incidentally, he was the first to record a pelvic deformity.".

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