Berlin: Friedrich Vieweg, 1793.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #001676
4to (267 x 210 mm).  pp., 444 columns,  pp. Fine engraved title by W. Arndt and C. Jack after Sprengel and Jack, and 25 engraved plates by J.S. Capieux, A. Wohlgemuth and J.D.H. after Sprengel. 20th-century half calf over marbled boards, spine ruled and lettered in gilt, red-dyed edges (little rubbing of extremities). Text generally quite clean and bright, faint dampstaining to first 4 leaves including title, three gatherings M-O, and a few plates; minor occasional foxing. Provenance: long inscription* in ink on first free endpaper, dated 11 September 1794. ----
Dibner 30; Sparrow 184; Nissen, BBI 1883; Stafleu-C. 12.672; DSB XII, p.588; Norman 1990. - FIRST EDITION. AN IMPORTANT WORK THAT FIRST DEFINED THE FUNCTION OF INSECTS IN PLANT POLLINATION, AND 'PROVIDED DARWIN WITH EVIDENCE FOR HIS THEORY OF EVOLUTION' (DSB XII, p.588). A student of Ernst Ludwig Heim (who also taught Alexander von Humboldt), Sprengel commenced his study of pollination in geraniums in 1787, and the function of insects and the flower's structures in the process, leading him to interpret the 'mystery' of the flower's botanical attributes through pollination and hence reproduction. 'His rediscovery of dichogamy ... led him to one of his major conclusions: "Nature appears not to have intended that any flower should be fertilized by its own pollen". This doctrine, together with the even more important view of the close integration of floral structures with insect visitation, was the first attempt to explain the origin of organic forms from definite relations to the environment' (DSB). However, Sprengel's ideas were not understood or appreciated at the time of publication, and his work remained little-known in his lifetime. It was only when a later generation of botanists investigated the field that the significance of Sprengel's work was understood, as Darwin acknowledged in The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom: 'Long before I had attended to the fertilisation of flowers, a remarkable book appeared in 1793 in Germany ... by C.K. Sprengel, in which he clearly proved by innumerable observations, how essential a part insects play in the fertilisation of many plants. But he was in advance of his age, and his discoveries were for a long time neglected.
*The inscription reads: "Seit der Zeit da ich Hedwig's Befruchtungs System der Moose las, welches an 14 Jahre her ist, hab ich nicht ein so großes und inniges Vergnügen gehabt als heute. Ich kann den Scharfsinn, den genauen Beobachtungsgeist und den unermüdeten Fleiß, und die richtige Darstellung der Dinge, von denen er spricht, garnicht genug bewundern. Sein Werk ist ein Meisterstück, ein Original, welches ihm Ehre macht, u worauf ganz Deutschland stolz sei(n) ka(nn) / Ernst Heim / über das Buch des Rector Sprengel / Den 11 September 1794."
Price: 5,500 € * convert currency
Delivery time up to 10 days. For calculation of the latest delivery date, follow the link: Delivery times
Lieferzeit max. 10 Tage. Zur Berechnung des spätesten Liefertermins siehe hier: Lieferzeiten