Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1734.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003256
1734-1742. 6 volumes. 4to (252 x 193 mm). I. , 654 pp, 50 plates; II:  xlvi , 514 pp., 40 plates; III:  xl, 532 pp., 47 plates; IV: xxxiv , 636 (i.e., 634) pp., 44 plates; V:  xliv, 728 pp, 38 plates; VI:  lxxx, 608 pp, 48 plates. 267 folding engraved plates by Simonneau, Lucas, Filloeul and Haussard in total, engraved headpieces and initial capitals, woodcut tailpieces, each title-page with engraved vignette. Bound in uniform contemporary mottled French calf, each spine with 5 raised bands, gilt-lettered morocco label and rich gilt-decoration including crowned monogram of Louis XV of France in 5 compartments, boards with triple gilt fillet borders, central gilt vignette of Louis XV, and gilt-tooled edges and turn-ins; marbled endpapers, red-sprinkled edges (joints mostly cracked but firm, boards and extremities rubbed, corners worn). First flyleaf of vol. I with short biography in manuscript, p. 460 of vol. VI with neat ink annotation. Text and plates generally quite clean and crisp with only minor uneven browning (a few gatherings a bit stronger), occasional minor spotting, few leaves with marginal paper flaws not affecting text, light offsetting from plates, some light dampstaining, mostly to lower corners and blank margins. Provenance: Nervet family of Evreux ("A Monsieur Nervet" gilt-stamped on turn-ins of upper and lower boards in each volume). A very good, wide margined and unmarked set in untouched original bindings. Collated complete. ----
Dibner, Heralds of Science 192; Sparrow, Milestones of Science 169; Norman 1804; En francais dans le texte, 145; Garrison-Morton 304; Nissen ZBI 3315; Wellcome IV, p. 484. FIRST EDITION of "a classic in the life history and bionomics of insects" (Sparrow). In addition to investigating insect behaviour, Réaumur also looked at the economic value of insects in the production of silk, honey, wax, lacquer and dye, as well as considering pest control. The Histoire des insectes was originally planned in ten volumes, but the project was halted after the sixth, possibly due to the author's jealous rivalry with his younger and more popular contemporary Buffon. A posthumous supplement was published in 1928. Individual volume titles are: I + II. Chenilles, papillons et insectes ennemis des chenilles. III. Histoire des Vers, des Teignes, des Pucerons et de leurs ennemis, etc. IV + V. Histoire des Gallinsectes, des Progallinsectes, des Mouches à deux ailes, des Mouches à scies, des Cigales et des Abeilles. VI. Mouches à quatre ailes, supplément à l'histoire des mouches à deux ailes. - Visit our website to see more images!
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