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. . (Inventory #: HillBibl-5256)
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