18 December 2002
SPRENGEL, Christian Konrad (1750-1816). Das entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur im Bau und in der Befruchtung der Blumen. Berlin: Friedrich Vieweg, 1793.
4o (244 x 208 mm). Engraved title and 25 engraved plates (some staining to plates.) 19th-century marbled boards (worn). Provenance: Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Stickney Fund (bookplate dated 1877).
FIRST EDITION OF THE EARLIEST STUDY ON POLLINATION. Sprengel discusses the relationship between pollination and the insect fertilization of flowers. Although Sprengel's work was generally neglected (he eventually gave up his botanical pursuits), it influenced several of Darwin's works. Dibner Heralds of Science 30; Nissen BBI 1883; Norman 1990; Pritzel 8856; Sparrow Milestones of Science 184; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 12672.
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