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Epoch-making study of snake venoms

FONTANA, Felice.
Traité sur le vénin de la vipere sur les poisons Americains sur le laurier-cerise et sur quelques autres poisons végétaux. On y a joint des observations sur la structure primitive du corps animal. Différentes expériences sur la reproduction des nerfs et la description d'un nouveau canal de l'oeil.
Florence, (without publisher), 1781. 2 volumes. 4to. With 10 engraved plates. Contemporary half calf, gold-tooled spine.
€ 1,500
A very good copy of "the starting point of modern investigations of serpent venoms." (Garrison). This work contains many of the outstanding discoveries made by the Italian physiologist and anatomist Felice Fontana (1730-1805), professor at the University of Pisa. It mainly describes experiments on viper venom and other poisons like the poison called ticunas by American Indians, the European cherry laurel tree (Prunus laurocerasus), tobacco oil, etc. Fontana also here for the first time publishes his letter describing "Fontana's canal," an important ophthalmological discovery. The work is also important in the field of neurology, since it contains Fontana's observations on the structure and reproduction of nerves, with the first illustrations ever of nerves as seen with a microscope.
Some occasional minor spots, bindings rubbed, both volumes with slightly damaged hinges. Very good set of a very important work on serpent venoms and other poisons.
Cole library 1836; Garrison, Hist. neurology, pp. 106-107, 124; Sabin 24988.
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Related Subjects:

Americas  >  Natural History | South America
Medicine & pharmacy  >  Medicine & Pharmacy after 1700
Natural history  >  Reptiles & Amphibians