By the founder of craniology
Decas collectionis suae craniorum diversarum gentium illustrata - [prima - sexta, nova pentas].
Göttingen: Apud Joann. Christ. Dieterich, 1790.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003185
1790-1828. 7 parts bound in 1 volume. 4to (237 x 198 mm). pp. 30, pl. I-X; pp. 14 , pl. XI-XX; pp. 16, pl. XX1-XXX; pp. 16, pl. XXXI-XL; pp. 20, pl. XLI-L; pp. 19 , pl. LI-LX; pp. 11 , pl. LXI-LXV. Each part with separate title-page and pagination, general title-page with engraved vignette, no separate title-page to first part, 65 engraved plates in total. Text of second part printed on blue paper. Bound in contemporary half calf, spine gilt-lettered and gilt-decorated, marbled endpapers (rubbing of joints and extremities). Print year of part 1 added in manuscript on title. Minor age-toning only, occasional minor spotting, part 1 title-leaf with paper repair not affecting text, part 5 title-leaf and first text leaf with paper repair affecting 3 words of text on first text leaf, 5 plates shaved at foot with partial loss of imprints, part 5 with stronger foxing of text and plates. Very good copy, collated complete. ----
FIRST AND ONLY EDITION, AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE WITH ALL SEVEN PARTS INCLUDING THE SUPPLEMENT, of Blumenbach's comparative anatomical studies of the human cranium. An eighth volume as mentioned in some bibliographies has never been published and is a ghost (see Lazlo Karolyi, p.195). There has however been a new edition by H. v. Ihering in 1873 of the "Nova Pentas" that includes descriptions of additional 5 skulls. "Blumenbach was the founder of craniology, and his craniological collection served as the principal foundation for his investigations into the natural history of mankind. He used the norma verticalis, the shape of the skull as seen from above, as the means of distinguishing three types: Mongols, Negroes, and Caucasians. The above work includes a description of the uncinate (Blumenbach's) process" (Garrison-Morton 198). Blumenbach's collection of 250 skulls was the largest of his time. Blumenbach's ambition was to obtain as many skulls as possible from all continents. Several researchers and well known individuals, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt, Sir Joseph Banks, and Ludwig I King of Bavaria, contributed skulls to his collection (L. Karolyi, p.194). References: Garrison-Morton 198 (incorrectly mentions 7 parts plus supplement); NLM/Blake 51; Waller 1154-1160; Wellcome II, 183; Hirsch-H. I, 576; L. Károlyi, Die Blumenbach-Sammlung in Göttingen (Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Anthropologie), In: Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie, vol. 57, 1966, pp. 192-98.
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