BAER, Karl Ernst von.

De ovi mammalium et hominis genesi. . . .   Leipzig Leopold Voss 1827

4to. [viii], 40, [2] pp. With half-title, corrigenda, and 1 full-page hand-coloured engraved plate. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards; a fine copy on bright white paper from the library of Tho. Wainwright, with his armorial book plate. $38,000.00

First edition of Baer's famous discovery of the mammalian ovum, a classic in the history of embryology. "The notion that all animals come from eggs was pronounced by Harvey, and de Graaf proclaimed that the follicle named after him was really the mammalian egg. It remained for Baer to plot the course of ovulation and fertilisation from its later stages back to the ovary and there to identify the minute cell which was the ovum. These discoveries were published in the present paper" (PMM).

Baer (1792-1876) studied in Vienna and later went to Königsberg as professor of anatomy. He finally moved to St. Petersburg, where he was a brilliant success and won many honours. It is interesting to note that this paper went almost unnoticed until Baer met Anders Retzius (1796-1860) at a meeting of naturalists and physicians in Berlin, and Retzius asked Baer to demonstrate his discovery.
Dibner, 196; Garrison & Morton, 477; Horblit, 9b; Printing & the Mind of Man, 288

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