The botany of a circumnavigation. Posthumously published - and rare

Meyen, F. J. F.

Observationes botanicas, in itinere circum Terram institutas. Opus posthumum.

Published 1843
Item ID 74530

excl. VAT

Vratislaviae et Bonnae, Academia Caesareae Leopoldino-Carolinae Naturae Curiosorum, 1843. 4to (29.7 x 22.7 cm). Title pages in German and in Latin, to the volume and the work. xxxii, 312 pp.; 13 engraved plates of which four hand-coloured. Slightly later pebbled blue half cloth over marbled boards. Gilt title on the spine. Marbled endpapers. Edges speckled red.

A seldom-seen botanical work by the German medical doctor and botanist Franz Julius Ferdinand Meyen (1804-1840), compiled with the assistance of several of the foremost German botanists of the time. Published posthumously. After an apprenticeship as a pharmacist in Memel (Lithuania), Meyen came to Berlin in 1821, where he studied medicine at the University of Berlin. From 1826 onwards, Meyen worked as a military doctor. On the recommendation of Alexander von Humboldt, he took part in a circumnavigation of the world as a ship's doctor on the Princess Louise from 1830 to 1832. This took him to Brazil, Chile, Peru, Polynesia, China, and finally St. Helena. He brought back extensive botanical collections, which formed the basis of the present studies. The collections also provided him a wide-ranging knowledge of the earth's vegetation, which formed a basis for his book Grundriß der Pflanzengeographie (1836). The chapter on Leguminosae is by Theodor Vogel; the Gentiancae were dealt with by A. H. H. Grisebach; the Cyperaceae, Iuncaceae, Philydraceae, Gramineae parts were written by C. G. Nees von Esenbeck; I. Meyen and I. Flotow described the lichens, J. F. Klotsch the Fungi, G. Walpers the Compositeae and many other groups. J. C. Schauer was responsible for the chapter on Orchideae and Bromeliaceae, etc. The work is concluded with a general index. Published by the Leopoldina, of which Meyen became a member in 1828. Provenance: "Société geologique [de France]" in small gilt printing on the spine foot, and stamp of the same society on the Latin volume title. Top of spine chipped; scattered, mostly marginal foxing, stronger on a few leaves; one text leaf browned; plates generally somewhat cleaner, a few toned. In all a very good copy. We found no auction records. Stafleu and Cowan, 5895.

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