by WOLFF, Caspar Friedrich
Two folding engraved plates. 263,  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 Inked withdrawn stamp on verso of title and a small hole in blank margin of first plate.
(Inventory #: 651)