3 December 2010
PERRAULT, Claude. Memoirs pour servir a l'histoire naturelle des Animaux. Comprising Vol. III, parts I to III of Memoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences. Paris: La Compagnie des Librares, 1733-4.
3 volumes, 4o (252 x 188 mm). 97 engraved folding plates. (Some occasional pale browning.) Contemporary French calf, spines gilt (repairs to joints, some rubbing).
A later reduced format edition of Perrault's Memoires of 1671-76 (see lot 327). Prior to 1670, most descriptions of animals paid little attention to their internal structure, and there were very few images in natural history encyclopedias that depicted skeletons or muscles. That changed with the establishment of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris in 1666. One of the original academicians, the physician Claude Perrault, organized regular sessions at which participants could dissect deceased animals from Louis XIV's royal menagerie. Lions, bears, chameleons, porcupines were all laid open by the academic scalpels. (3)
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