Stuttgart und Tübingen / Stuttgart: Cotta / Krais & Hoffmann, 1845.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Item #003528
Kosmos. Entwurf einer physischen Weltbeschreibung. Volume 1 to 5. Stuttgart und Tübingen: Cotta, 1845-1862. 8vo (215 x 133 mm). Atlas zu Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos. Stuttgart: Krais & Hoffmann, . Oblong folio (280 x 350 mm). Text volumes: xvi, 493 ; , 544, ; , 644; , 649 ; , 1297  pp., vol. I with 3 unnumbered advert leaves to the Physikalischer Atlas by Berghaus bound at end, vol. III with folding letterpress table, but without errata leaf. Atlas volume: , 136 pp. With 42 numbered plates, including 39 hand-colored lithographs (nos. 1-34, 38-42) and 3 steel-engravings (nos. 35-37). Text volumes uniformly bound in contemporary black half morocco and cloth covered boards, spines lettered and decorated in gilt and with raised bands, marbled edges, brown endpapers (extremities lightly rubbed, minor wear to corners). The text crisp and clean throughout with only very minor occasional pale foxing. Atlas bound in contemporary blue cloth over blind-stamped papercard boards, spine decorated and titled in gilt (some wear to extremities). Some spotting to endpapers, text and plates crisp and virtually unfoxed with only little yellowing of paper. Exceptional, clean and bright set. ----
PMM 320; Norman 1112; Sparrow 106. First edition of the work that, in Humboldt's words, was intended "to represent in one work the whole material world, everything we know today of the phenomena in the celestial spaces and of life on earth, from the nebulae to the geography of mosses on granite rocks ... It is meant to describe a chapter in the intellectual development of mankind." PMM 320.
"Humboldt's survey of contemporary knowledge of the physical world and the cosmos - the last such scientific survey undertaken by a single individual - occupied him for the last three decades of his life. The first two volumes, in which Humboldt described the entire material world from the galaxies to the minutiae of the various mosses, proved enormously popular. The later three volumes, containing Humboldt's special research findings, were less successful, but the fifth volume, completed after Humboldt's death, cites over 9,000 sources to which he felt indebted, and is thus a valuable reference for the history of science" (Norman). - Visit our website to see more images!
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