[PERRAULT, Claude (1613-1688)]. Mmoires pour servir l'histoire naturelle des animaux. -- Suite des mmoires pour servir l'histoire naturelle des animaux. Paris: Sbastien Mabre-Cramoisy for the Imprimerie Royale, 1671-76.
Two parts in one volume, large 2o (547 x 407 mm). Each part with engraved frontispiece by Goyton after Sbastien Le Clerc, engraved title-vignettes incorporating the royal arms of Louis XIV, numerous engraved head- and tail-pieces by Le Clerc, 29 engraved plates. (Some minor dust soiling, few minor spots.) Contemporary French red morocco, presentation binding with gilt arms of Louis XIV (Olivier 2494 fer 7) on sides, framed by a triple gilt fillet panel with cornerpieces of his son the Grand Dauphin (a dolphin enclosed within a crowned ornament), triple gilt fillet outer border, spine in eight compartments with seven raised bands, gilt-lettered in one compartment, a repeated gilt panel in the rest, board edges and turn-ins gilt, edges gilt (some wear to extremities, fore-corners bruised, some stains and minor abrasions on sides). Provenance: apparently bound for both Louis XIV and his son, the Grand Dauphin, for their joint use or for presentation by them, the king being the patron of the Acadmie Royale des Sciences (binding).
FIRST EDITION of "one of the most sumptuously produced of all early biological works" (Garrison-Morton). This important text contains descriptions of twenty-nine species, most covered in earlier publications of a team of comparative anatomists headed by Perrault and including Duverney, Pecquet, Moyse Charas and Philippe de la Hire, referred to as the "Parisians" in contemporary scientific literature because of their membership in the Acadmie Royale des Ssiences. "Among the new species described are the lynx, the porcupine, the eagle, the cormorant and the ostrich" (Norman).
This is one of the first publications of the Acadmie Royale des Sciences. The engraved frontispiece, the first illustration of the meeting of a learned society, shows a meeting of the Academy in the Royal Library at Versailles, with Louis XIV and his minister Colbert present. Eales I, 673 (also with the arms of Louis XIV); Garrison-Morton 295; Nissen ZBI 3123-3124; Norman 1687.