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Georges Louis Marie Leclerc Buffon (1707 - 1788)

Lot 26: Buffon, Georges Louis Marie Leclerc. , Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, avec la description du cabinet du roy. Amsterdam: J.H. Schneider; Dordrecht: A. Blusse, 1766-1799


May 10, 2007
London, United Kingdom

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38 volumes, 4to (275 x 207mm.), engraved portrait frontispiece, 30 engraved title-pages, 4 maps and 1138 plates, one folding table, all coloured by hand , contemporary half calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco lettering-piece, lacking 8 maps in the Mineraux section, lacking 5 plates (plates 34 and 35 in part 5 of the General volumes and 29-31 in part 3 of the Oiseaux volumes), plate 25 in part 6 of the Oiseaux volumes torn with substantial loss, lacking the title-page of part 11 of the General volumes, no plate lists to part 9 of the General volumes and parts 2, 7 and 9 of the Oiseaux volumes, some leaves torn (with some loss) or loose, a few preliminary leaves misbound, bindings worn


Nissen ZBI
678 (calling for 1122 plates)


Buffon, director of the Jardin du Roi, collected and analysed countless living, dead, and fossilized organisms in an effort to understand their anatomy, classification, and distribution. Buffon was to imply that not only was the world much older than Biblical orthodoxy taught, but that different species were subtly related. The Histoire naturelle is a lavishly illustrated and highly colourful summation of Buffon's work.

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