Roger Gaskell Rare Books

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VALLISNIERI, Antonio (1661–1730)

Considerazioni, ed esperienze intorno all generazione de' vermi ordinari del corpo umano, fatte da Antonio Vallisnieri, e da lui scritte al reverendissimo padre D. Antonio Borromeo

Padua: nella stamperia del seminario, 1710
4to: a6 A–K8, 86 leaves, pp. [12] 160. Small woodcut decoration on title.
4 etched folding plates: numbered Tavola prima–quarta.
Condition: 250 x 185mm, untrimmed, a fine fresh copy.
Binding: Contemporary carta rustica, tears across spine but a very well preserved copy.
Provenance: Early owner's armorial stamp on title and a manuscript list of books given to his(?) son, Antonio, laid in.
First edition.
Bibliography: Wellcome V, p. 328; Blake p. 468; Waller 9790; Nissen 4219.
£1,000

The first monograph on human parasitic worms. Vallisnieri, who had been a pupil of Malpighi in Bologna, played a decisive role in the spontaneous generation debate, confirming Redi's demonstration of the origin of insects from eggs. Here Vallisnieri challenged the view that intestinal worms metamorphosed from earthworms or fruit worms, and enforced his own opinion of ‘a perpetual law of nature that like always generates like’ (see Giuseppe Montalenti, DSB XIII, 563b).
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