BUFFON, Georges Louis Marie Leclerc, comte de (1707-1788). Histoire naturelle générale et particuléire, avec la description du Cabinet du Roi. Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1749-1804.
44 volumes and one atlas volume, 4υo (242 x 188 mm). 1275 engraved plates, including portrait and 12 folding maps, mostly by Jacques de Séve and his son Jacques de Séve fils. Contemporary French mottled calf, spines gilt and with black morocco lettering-pieces.
FIRST EDITION OF "THE MOST CELEBRATED TREATISE ON ANIMALS EVER PRODUCED" (Dibner). The above set includes the Supplements and the continuation of Buffon's monumental work by Lacépède. "Buffon is regarded as the founder of evolutionism, as he introduced a large number of evolutionary problems, such as common descent, extinction, and reproductive isolation of species, into the realm of scientific investigation. His concept of 'unity of type' led to the development of comparative anatomy; his rejection of Linnaeus's artificial classification system in favor of one based on geographical location established the importance of species distribution; and his new, vast chronology of the earth was an essential prerequisite to the rise of transformism" (Norman 369). Dibner Heralds of Science 193; Nissen ZBI 672; PMM 198; Wellcome II, p. 267. A VERY FINE SET. (45)