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Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or a Catalogue and Description
1681 - GREW, Nehemiah. Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or a Catalogue and Description of the Natural and Artificial Rarities Belonging to the Royal Society". Whereunto is Subjoyned the Comparative Anatomy of Stomachs and Guts. London: Rawlins, 1681. Folio, contemporary paneled speckled calf rebacked, black morocco spine label, raised bands. $2500.First edition, illustrated with frontispiece portrait of Sir Daniel Colwall, founder of the Royal Society Museum, and 31 striking plates (one folding) bound at rear.The clergyman, botanist and anatomist Nehemiah Grew compiled this "great illustrated catalogue" during his tenure as Secretary of the Royal Society (Garrison & Morton 297). Included here are descriptions and plates of plant, animal, mineral and fossil "rarities" collected on various travels and explorations and acquired by the Royal Society. Part I, for example, discusses "Human Rarities," and begins with a description of an Egyptian mummy. "Grew's Comparative Anatomy of Stomachs and Guts forms the appendix to his catalogue of the objects in the museum of the Royal Society; its publication marks the earliest usage of the term "˜comparative anatomy on the title page of a zoological work. The appendix represents the first comparative study of a single system of organs: Grew investigated the alimentary canals of birds, fish and various mammals, classifying the last group according to the anatomical and physiological criteria drawn from his investigations" (Norman 945). "The first attempt to deal with one system of organs only by the comparative method" (GM 297). The last nine plates illustrate the Comparative Anatomy. The present work was published at a particularly productive and important time for Grew; his magnum opus, The Anatomy of Plants followed a year later in 1682. Cole, History of Comparative Anatomy, 245-251. Owner signature, small marginal inkstamp, a few early ink corrections and marginal notations.Minor paper repair to frontispiece. Text and plates generally quite clean. A bit of light age-wear to contemporary boards; corners restored. An extremely good and handsome copy. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-11-27           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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