Musaeum regalis societatis.... London: W. Rawlins, 1681.
Two parts in one volume. [xii], 386, ; [ii], 4 With 31 full-page plates (1 folding). Separate titles to each part, frontispiece portrait of Daniel Colwall, founder of the Museum of the Royal Society. Original full calf, rebacked; an exceptionally nice copy with the book-label of George Milton Smith. $2,000.00
First edition of Grew's finely illustrated catalogue of the holdings of the Museum of the Royal Society. Anatomical, zoological, and botanical specimens are depicted, as well as medical instruments. This was the first zoological book to use the term "comparative anatomy" on the title page, and was also the first attempt to deal with one system of organs only by the comparative method.
The catalogue itself contains many interesting references to the scientific work of Grew's contemporaries, including Swamerdam and Edward Tyson. Among the instruments in the Royal Society's collections are Newton's reflecting telescope, Boyle's "aire-pump," Sir William Petty's model of his "double-bottom'd ship," Wilkins' "Otocoustick, or instrument to help the hearing," plus instruments by Hooke, Wren, and others.
"The first scientific museum in England of real educational value was that of the Royal Society, and the Society was fortunate in finding such an able cataloguer for it." Grew had studied medicine in Leiden and soon acquired an extensive practice as a physician. In 1677 he succeeded Oldenburg as secretary of the Society.