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Das entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur im Bau und in der Befruchtung der Blumen by  Christian Konrad SPRENGEL - 1st Edition - 1793 - from Milestones of Science Books (SKU: 001676)

Das entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur im Bau und in der Befruchtung der Blumen

Das entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur im Bau und in der Befruchtung der Blumen

by SPRENGEL, Christian Konrad

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  • very good
  • hardcover
  • First
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About This Item

Berlin: Friedrich Vieweg, 1793. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. 1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. 4to (267 x 210 mm). [6] pp., 444 columns, [4] pp. Fine engraved title by W. Arndt and C. Jack after Sprengel and Jack, and 25 engraved plates by J.S. Capieux, A. Wohlgemuth and J.D.H. after Sprengel. 20th-century half calf over marbled boards, spine ruled and lettered in gilt, red-dyed edges (little rubbing of extremities). Text generally quite clean and bright, faint dampstaining to first 4 leaves including title, three gatherings M-O, and a few plates; minor occasional foxing. Provenance: long inscription* in ink on first free endpaper, dated 11 September 1794. ---- Dibner 30; Sparrow 184; Nissen, BBI 1883; Stafleu-C. 12.672; DSB XII, p.588; Norman 1990. - FIRST EDITION. AN IMPORTANT WORK THAT FIRST DEFINED THE FUNCTION OF INSECTS IN PLANT POLLINATION, AND 'PROVIDED DARWIN WITH EVIDENCE FOR HIS THEORY OF EVOLUTION' (DSB XII, p.588). A student of Ernst Ludwig Heim (who also taught Alexander von Humboldt), Sprengel commenced his study of pollination in geraniums in 1787, and the function of insects and the flower's structures in the process, leading him to interpret the 'mystery' of the flower's botanical attributes through pollination and hence reproduction. 'His rediscovery of dichogamy ... led him to one of his major conclusions: "Nature appears not to have intended that any flower should be fertilized by its own pollen". This doctrine, together with the even more important view of the close integration of floral structures with insect visitation, was the first attempt to explain the origin of organic forms from definite relations to the environment' (DSB). However, Sprengel's ideas were not understood or appreciated at the time of publication, and his work remained little-known in his lifetime. It was only when a later generation of botanists investigated the field that the significance of Sprengel's work was understood, as Darwin acknowledged in The Effects of Cross and Self Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom: 'Long before I had attended to the fertilisation of flowers, a remarkable book appeared in 1793 in Germany ... by C.K. Sprengel, in which he clearly proved by innumerable observations, how essential a part insects play in the fertilisation of many plants. But he was in advance of his age, and his discoveries were for a long time neglected. *The inscription reads: "Seit der Zeit da ich Hedwig's Befruchtungs System der Moose las, welches an 14 Jahre her ist, hab ich nicht ein so großes und inniges Vergnügen gehabt als heute. Ich kann den Scharfsinn, den genauen Beobachtungsgeist und den unermüdeten Fleiß, und die richtige Darstellung der Dinge, von denen er spricht, garnicht genug bewundern. Sein Werk ist ein Meisterstück, ein Original, welches ihm Ehre macht, u worauf ganz Deutschland stolz sei(n) ka(nn) / Ernst Heim / über das Buch des Rector Sprengel / Den 11 September 1794."


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Milestones of Science Books DE (DE)
Bookseller Inventory #
Das entdeckte Geheimniss der Natur im Bau und in der Befruchtung der Blumen
SPRENGEL, Christian Konrad
Book condition
Used - Very Good
Quantity available
1st Edition
Friedrich Vieweg
Place of Publication
Date published
Biology, Pollination Botany and zoology Norman Library Dibner - Heralds of Science
Bookseller catalogs
Dibner - Heralds of Science; Sparrow - Milestones of Science;

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Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...[more]
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Marbled boards
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
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