SERRES, [Antoine Étienne Reynaud Augustin].

Anatomie Comparée Transcendante. Principes d’Embryogénie, de Zoogénie et de Tératogénie.

Paris: Typographie de Firmin Didot Frères, Fils et Ce... .1859

Large 4to, 1 leaf, pp. xv, 942, 1 leaf (errata), + 18 pages numbered “206—1” – “206—10” and “938” – “938—7”, and 26 folding lithographed plates. Modern half morocco antique. A little dust-soiling on the edges of a few plates, otherwise a fine copy.

FIRST EDITION of Serres’s principal work on embryology and teratology. “Serres’s theoretical position was more closely akin to that of Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, who regarded Serres as his collaborator. Serres believed that there was only one underlying animal type and that in the course of their development, the organs of the higher animals repeated the form of the equivalent organs in lower organisms... The distinction between a repetition of the organs of lower forms and the repetition of the actual organisms is often blurred; the latter view is sometimes called the Serres-Meckel Law. “After 1828 belief in either version of the Serres-Meckel Law was gradually abandoned as the result of Baer’s criticism, but throughout the 1840’s and 1850’s Serres continued to write papers in which he maintained his original views; 1859 Serres produced a final memoir in which he still maintained his original views” (DSB). This was Serres’s largest work on the subject. The fine suite of plates illustrates incompletely separated twins, malformed organs and limbs, etc.


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