Paris, Claude-Jean-Baptiste Bauche, 1757.
4to [255 x 185 mm] with (8) pp., 190 pp., (1) l., xcvi pp, 275 pp, 1 large folding map and 19 folding plates. Marbled calf, triple blind-stamped fillet around the covers, spine ribbed decorated with gilt fleurons, red morocco title-piece, marbled edges. Contemporary binding.
Rare first edition of this account of a journey to Senegal by the naturalist Michel Adanson.
“In 1757, Michel Adanson, a young naturalist of thirty years of age, a pupil of Réaumur and Jussieu, published his ‘Histoire naturelle du Sénégal’, a book in which he made numerous new botanical, zoological and ethnographic observations after a five-year stay in Africa.
This work includes a second part entitled ‘Histoire des coquillages’ which contains, after a preface of 96 pages, 275 pages devoted to local shellfish, sea or fresh water, 19 plates of magnificent drawings as well as a large map of Senegal. This work which achieved great success, , as shown by its English and German editions, and is still a great classic of natural history today. (Bulletin de la Société pharmaceutique de Bordeaux).
“L’Histoire naturelle du Sénégal’, the first work by Michel Adanson (1787-1806), is a collection of observations made in Senegal during the five-year stay of this young naturalist, a student of Réaumur and Jussieu. In the first part, Adanson gives a complete presentation of the new plants and animals he discovered; he also reports on the characters, ways of life, manners and customs of the country’s inhabitants. The second and more important part is devoted to the local massels and their shells, whose description is preceded by a chapter proposing a new taxonomy…
The memory of this remarkable scholar has now been definitively rescued from oblivion and the scientific world is keen to recognise the importance of the work of this hard worker who was Michel Adanson, the illustrious author of ‘Familles des plantes’ and ‘Voyage au Sénégal, à l’isle de Gorée et au fleuve Gambie”. (Guy Devaux, Revue d’Histoire de la Pharmacie)
The work is illustrated with a large folding map of Senegal and 19 folding engraved plates of massels and shellfish.
A precious copy of great freshness preserved in its perfectly preserved contemporary binding.