Eight folding printed tables. 302 pp., 1 leaf of table of contents & errata. 8vo, 19th-cent. calf-backed marbled boards, spine gilt, black leather lettering piece on spine, outer & lower edges uncut. Leipzig: S.L. Crusius, 1774. First edition, and very rare, of the author's first book in which Werner developed a completely new system for the description of minerals. Werner (1749-1817), known as the "father of historical geology," was the first to understand that the correct classification of minerals should be based on their chemical composition and that minerals could be identified by their external characteristics. In this work, "Werner gave an unprecedented number of external characteristics with definitions, usually accompanied by homely examples which could be understood by both the layman and the natural philosopher…[it] continued to be an important work into the nineteenth century."-D.S.B., XIV, p. 257. The present work by Werner was enormously influential for mineralogists and geologists on the Continent and in England. It was due to this book that Wernerian nomenclature took a firm hold. Fine copy with the outer and lower edges uncut. ❧ Dibner, Heralds of Science, 91. Evans, First Editions of Epochal Achievements in the History of Science (1934), 64. Sparrow, Milestones of Science, p. 30. Zittel, pp. 56-61. (Inventory #: 5950)
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