Medicine & Anatomy

Malpighi, Marcello | Dissertatio Epistolica de Formatione Pulli in Ovo

  • First edition, large-paper copy, of this fundamental work which “placed the study of embryology on a sound basis, surpassing in accuracy all other contemporary work on the subject and foreshadowing some of the more important general lines of research in embryology” (Garrison & Morton 469).

    ”As with his investigations in comparative anatomy, Malpighi was led to embryological research as a means of understanding more highly developed structures. His study of the development of the chicken in the egg went far beyond the work of Harvey and Fabrici, dealing with the internal structures to an unprecedented extent: his chief discoveries, illustrated in his four beautifully detailed plates, were the vascular areas embraced by the terminal sinus, the cardiac tube and its segmentation, the aortic arches, the somites, the neural folds and neural tube, the cerebral and optic vesicles, the protoliver, the glands of the prestomach, and the feather follicles. Malpighi established the paths of subsequent embryological research, making the important connection between emryogenesis and phylogenesis, and playing a formative role in the development of preformationist theory, which would pose a strong challenge to the traditional doctrine of epigenesis” (Norman 1429).

    References: Garrison & Morton 469; Norman 1429; Wing M350

  • London: John Martyn, 1673.

    Quarto (242 x 167mm). Recently rebound to style in panelled calf, red morocco spine label. Contemporary manuscript notes to title and page 25. Plates on new guards, edges of plates just a little frayed, small, professional repairs to plates 2, 3, and 4, not affecting the images. An excellent, fresh and wide-margined copy.