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    "First Book of Any Size Restricted to Mollusks"

    Filippo Buonanni. Ricreatione Dell'occhio E Della Mente Nell'Osservation' delle Chiocciole, Proposa a' Curiosi delle Opere della Natura. Rome: Varese, 1681. First edition. Octavo. Two parts in one volume. - 4, A-3D4. (16), 384, (16) pages. Six engraved titles and 110 full page copper engraved plates. Contemporary calf, gilted floral spine, title on red label, edges rubbed, front hinge cracked, but holding. Scattered dampstaining and light toning, engraved titles trimmed at foot, no affect. 2N1, repaired, few letters of text lost. First blank with old owner's inscription "T.G. Paul", "Ex legato Arebliziano, 1731". Bibliothek Breslau stamps to verso of title. Very good condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit HA.com/6127 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    First edition of "the first book of any size restricted to mollusks" - (Dance, Shell Collecting page 43).

    "Filippo Buonanni, (born Rome, Italy, 7 January 1638; died 30 March 1725), natural sciences. Buonanni, one of the most learned Jesuits of his time, was a pupil of Athanasius Kircher, and in 1680 succeeded his master as teacher of mathematics at the Collegium Romanum; in 1698, he was appointed curator of the Kircherian Museum, which he described in his "Museum Collegii Romani Kircherianum (1709)".....Erudite in a number of fields, including numismatics and ecclesiastical history (writing on both subjects), Buonanni made extensive studies in the natural sciences; he constructed his own microscope with three lenses (according to Tortona's system), which proved to be an ingenious mechanism for continual observation. In his Ricreazione dell'ochio e della mente nell'observazione della chiocciole (1681), a work valuable for its many illustrations of shells, he explicitly affirmed his belief in the spontaneous generation of mollusks and rekindled the controversy over generation that had flared in 1671 between Kircher and Francesco Redi. Buonanni's position was anachronistic, since the Aristotleian theory of spontaneous generation had been disproved by Redi in his Esperienze intorno all generazione degli insetti (1668) and by Marcello Malpighi, who had demonstrated the pathogenesis of oak galls from the development of fertilized insect eggs in his Anatome plantarum (1679).....He based his belief in the spontaneous generation of mollusks partly on the authority of Aristotle and Kircher and partly on a report by Camillo Picchi of Ancona...he was convinced, as he stated in his Ricreazione, that the mollusks had no hearts. If this were so, they had no blood; Aristotle had written that no bloodless animal is oviparous, and that "all conches are generated spontaneously by the mud - oysters by dirty mud, the others by sandy mud". Convinced that the conches were heartless and bloodless, Buonanni believed that both observation and authority supported the idea of spontaneous generation." - Dictionary of Scientific Biography page 591.

    Krivatsy/ NLM 1936. Nissen ZBI 753. Be Backer-S. II:377,2. Wood 272. Eales I:991. Anm-Ebert 2712. Poggendorf I: 341.



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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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