Florence: All'Insegna della Stella, 1668.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #002511
4to (239 x 174 mm). , 128 pp. Half-title, title-page printed in red and black and with engraved vignette of the Accademia della Crusca, leaf with proverb in Arabic type, 28 numbered engraved plates (3 double page), 10 full-page unnumbered and 2 smaller illustrations within text pagination. Without the blank leaf. Contemporary vellum, spine titled in script (rebacked with original portion of spine laid down, little worming to hinges and boards, little soiling), yapp edges, endpapers renewed. Internally only little browned, some minor spotting in places, final leaf with repair to inner blank margin. A handsome, wide-margined copy. ----
Dibner 188; Horblit 88; Norman 1812; NLM/Krivatsy 9448; Nissen ZBI 3319. - FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE without additional plate 29. Because it appears in relatively few copies, the plate may have been added as an afterthought to the copies remaining after the greater part of the edition had been sold' (Norman). Redi's most influential book, which by remarkably simple experiments disproved the belief, dating back to Aristotle, that insects -- especially carrion-eating flys -- are spontaneously generated in dead creatures. "Using four flasks, he filled two each with pieces of meat, corked two and left two open. Flies gathered within the second [pair] and the contents became wormy, the first putrid, but not wormy. He stated, 'thus the flesh of dead animals cannot engender worms unless the eggs of the living be deposited within'" (Dibner). Redi "observed the egg-producing apparatus in insects and he also used the microscope to good advantage in observing the morphological elements characteristic of the eggs of each species" (DSB).
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