3 December 2010
[PERRAULT, Claude, and Jean PICARD]. Memoirs for a Natural History of Animals. Containing the anatomical descriptions of several creatures dissected by the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris. Englished by Alexander Pitfield... London: printed by Joseph Streater, to be sold by T. Basset, J. Robinson and others, 1688.
2 parts in one volume, 2o (290 x 193 mm). Title in red and black. Etched additional title and 35 plates, 30 of animals. Contemporary diced russia gilt. Provenance: Lowther (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF THIS "IMPORTANT TEXT ON COMPARATIVE ANATOMY" (Garrison & Morton). Perrault was a naturalist who was also an early and active member of the French Academy of Sciences, and did much to promote the study of comparative anatomy during the seventeenth century. The second part is from the French of the eminent astronomer and mathematician Jean Picard. Alexander Pitfeild, the son of Sir Charles Pitfeild of Hoxton, was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1684 (he was proposed by his brother-in-law Richard Waller, the translator of the second part of the present work). He also served on the council of the Royal Society and was treasurer from 1700 to 1728. See Cole 676; Nissen ZBI 3125; see Wing P-1582A. A VERY FINE COPY.
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