London: Thomas Sawbridge / A. & J. Churchill, 1686.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #003321
Three parts in two volumes. London: Thomas Sawbridge, 1686 / A. & J. Churchill, 1697. Folio (369 x 230 mm). Vol. 1: engraved frontispiece, title printed in red and black. , 15, , 78 (i.e. 82] pp., 54 plates; , 35  pp., 7 plates; , 72 pp., 39 plates; , 65-68, 5-44 pp., 12 plates; , 12 pp., 4 plates, 13-20 pp. Vol. 2: half title, engraved frontispiece, title printed in red and black. , 144 pp., 7 small sized plates. Opera poshuma: engraved frontispiece portrait, title printed in red and black. , 110, 1-91 , 96-187  pp., 19 engraved plates (misbound before frontispiece); De structura glandularum conglobatarum , 10 pp. Alltogether 142 engraved plates as called for. Contemporary calf, each spine with 5 raised bands richly gilt in compartments and with gilt-lettered morocco label, blue and red sprinkled edges (hinges and spine ends repaired, boards scratched and stained, corners bumped and scuffed). Text and plates with minor browning and spotting, some worming to blank margins (not affecting text or image), a few paper repairs not affecting text. Provenance: "Repasado A. Ch." (later pencil inscription on front pastedowns of both vols). A very good, textually complete set and with all plates present as called for. ----
I. Sparrow, Milestones of Science, 141; Wing M342B, M344; cf. Garrison-Morton 66, variant imprint; cf. NLM/Krivatsy 7319; Nissen 2656. First edition and one of the grandest productions of the Royal Society, with the rare frontispiece; this handsome folio contains the collected works of Malpighi (1628-94), the founder of histology and the greatest of the microscopists; they are today very scarce on the market. The first title is the first complete edition of his collected works published during his lifetime; all three works are splendid examples of bookmaking. Included here are Malpighi's great masterpieces on the anatomy of plants, the embryonic development of the chick (which makes him the founder of descriptive or iconographic embryology), the anatomy of the silkworm (the first monograph on an invertebrate), the discovery of the existence of capillaries (which completed the chain of the circulation of the blood postulated by Harvey), and his observations on the lungs (which overthrew the current conceptions of the pulmonary tissues demonstrating their true vesicular nature). Malpighi's writings were first collected in Le Clerc and Manget's Bibliotheca Anatomica (Geneva: 1685), but without his Anatome Plantarum and De Bombyce. Also, "the two folio volumes of this London edition are far more handsomely printed, in much larger type, and the drawings are beautifully reproduced and widely spaced upon the plates" (Adelmann, I, p. 509).
II. Wing M 352/347. ESTC r15882. NLM/Krivatsy 7322. Wellcome IV, 38. FIRST EDITION of Malpighi's Opera Posthuma, which "deserves special attention for its peculiar style. Throughout his life, Malpighi was quite consistent in being polite in print, avoiding name-calling, and treating with respect even those opinions he disagreed with . . . Matters changed with Malpighi's death. In order to appreciate this shift, one must remember that he was not caught unprepared by death, with a series of manuscripts he had not quite had time to bring to completion and put in print. Rather, his Opera posthuma was carefully engineered so that upon his death a substantial body of finished texts ready for publication was transmitted to the Royal Society . . . The three main works of the Opera posthuma, the Vita a seipso scripta or autobiography, the Risposta to Lipari, and the Risposta to Sbaraglia, share a polemic tone absent from Malpighi's previous publications. The Vita is a huge work, over 100 folio pages, where Malpighi defended strenuously from attacks and criticism all his previous publications. His treatment of Borelli was especially interesting, since Borelli himself had voiced in his posthumous De motu animalium (1680-1681) some criticisms of Malpighi's views. Borelli's work was posthumous because he happened to have died before having completed it. By contrast, Malpighi waited for fifteen years to follow Borelli to the afterworld in order to reciprocate the favour tenfold. His Vita is an extraordinary source for historians, because, whereas in previous publications Malpighi was often proceeding by allusions, there one finds spelt out with unusual candour and vigour all the key points and passages of a controversy, including page numbers of publications and extracts from private letters. In fact, one could say that the biographical material in his Vita provides a peculiar framework for a series of detailed anatomical studies on specific organs or problems, largely in response to attacks by his critics." (Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Mechanistic Pathology and Therapy in the Medical Assayer of Marcello Malpighi. In: Medical History, 2007, vol. 51(2), pp. 165-180).
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