Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln. Ernst HAECKEL.
Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln
Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln
Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln
Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln
Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln
Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln

Die Radiolarien (Rhizopoda Radiaria). Eine Monographie von Dr Ernst Haeckel ... mit einem Atlas von fünf und dreissig Kupfertafeln

Berlin, Druck und Verlag von Georg Reimer, 1862.

Large quarto, two volumes, xvi, 572 pages (text volume), and iv pages plus 35 plates (28 hand-coloured), all engraved by Wilhelm Wagenschieber after original drawings and watercolours by Ernst Haeckel (atlas volume).

The text volume is bound in later buckram, now a little rubbed, scuffed and slightly marked; text block lightly toned; minimal signs of use and age; a very good copy. The atlas volume is bound in later cloth, with a small surface tear to the front pastedown; the magnificent plates are generally a little foxed and offset, with trifling surface blemishes to the top or bottom corner tip of six of them, and tiny surface deposits to the leading margin of another one (and all of these blemishes are well clear of the printed surface of the plates). The bound-in acidic tissue-guards are a little foxed, and at some stage the corners of each one had been tipped in on the blank verso of the preceding plate; in most instances these corners have been detached with minor loss, now made good with small pieces of clear tape; three tissue-guards have tears repaired with clear tape, and another one is attached to the verso of the previous plate in one small spot; overall, the condition is very good.

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919) was an early proponent of Charles Darwin's theories on evolution, and Darwin in turn admired this important work on radiolaria (protozoa with elaborate mineral skeletons). In a letter to Haeckel dated 3 March 1864, Darwin writes: 'My dear Sir, I received a week since your most kind present of your work on Radiolariæ. It is one of the most magnificent works which I have ever seen, & I am proud to possess a copy from the author. It is very interesting & instructive to study your admirably executed drawings; for I had no idea that animals of such low organization could develope such extremely beautiful structures' (Darwin Correspondence Project, University of Cambridge). The admiration was mutual. In late 1859, the young zoologist 'decided to focus on just one group of animals, the almost unknown radiolaria.... First of all, with his discoveries Haeckel increased by almost half the number of known species of radiolarian. Second, he provided the most careful description of the distinguishing characteristics of the skeletons and soft parts, including extraordinarily exact measurements.... [O]f considerable significance, he attempted to arrange his species into a natural system based on homology. Haeckel said he was inspired to attempt a natural system because of the extraordinary book he had read while preparing his specimens', the German translation of Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' (Richards, Robert J.: 'The Tragic Sense of Life. Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought', 2008).

The superb plates in this volume are a precursor to the magnum opus of this influential zoologist, evolutionist and artist. Between 1899 and 1904 Haeckel published a portfolio of prints, 'Kunstformen der Natur' ('Art Forms in Nature'); it was also issued collectively in two volumes in 1904. It 'consists of 100 prints of various organisms, many of which were first described by Haeckel himself. Over the course of his career, over 1000 engravings were produced based on Haeckel's sketches and watercolors; many of the best of these were chosen for "Kunstformen der Natur", translated from sketch to print by lithographer Adolf Giltsch' ('Encyclopedia Britannica' online). Haeckel scholar Olaf Breidbach says of the work that it was 'not just a book of illustrations but also the summation of his view of the world'. Its influence on twentieth century art, architecture and design is immediately apparent, especially with Art Nouveau.

Provenance: Emeritus Professor William Riedel (1927-2020), world-renowned micropaleontologist born in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Over a career of more than 50 years, much of it spent at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, 'Riedel became known worldwide for his expertise in radiolarians, single-celled microscopic organisms known for their intricate mineral skeletons. Riedel's work on fossilized radiolarians was foundational in the expanding field of oceanography in the second half of the 20th century, redefining the understanding of Earth's geologic history' (Scripps Institution of Oceanography UCSD website). [2 items].

Item #123301

Price (AUD): $10,000.00

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