Redi, Francesco | Esperienze intorno alla Generazione degl’Insetti
First edition of the text that disproved spontaneous generation. First issue without the rare 29th plate which is lacking in most copies.
“In this scientific attack on the doctrine of spontaneous generation, Redi demonstrated, by means of a series of simple experiments involving sealed, open and gauze-covered flasks of meat, that organic matter remained free of larva when protected from insect contamination... Having shown that insect contagion was necessary before decaying substances could develop worms, redi applied the same principle to parasites found in living creatures. However, he was led astray by his observations into claiming that gall insects were spontaneously generated by the plants housing them, an error that Malphigi corrected in 1679” (Norman 1812).
References: Norman 1812, Dibner 188, Horblit 88
...All’Illustrissimo Signor Carlo Dati. Florence: All’insegna della Stella, 1668.
Quarto (234 x 165mm). 19th-century dark green half skiver, tan morocco label, marbled sides, red speckled edges. Engraved device to title, 38 full-page plates of which 2 are folding, 2 small illustrations on text pages. Bookplate, punch stamp, and withdrawn ink stamp of the John Crerar Library. Binding a little rubbed, bumped, and scuffed, particularly along the edges, corners worn, occasional light spotting to the contents but generally clean save for the second folding plate, which is more heavily foxed. Very good condition.