The start of modern toxicology

Fontana, F.

Treatise on the venom of the viper; on the American poisons, and on the cherry laurel, and some other vegetable poisons, to which are annexed, observations on the primitive structure of the animal body; different experiments on the reproduction of the nerves; and a description of a new canal of the eye. With ten descriptive plates. Translated from the original French of Felix Fontana, naturalist to His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Toscany, and director of his Cabinet of Natural History, by Joseph Skinner, navy surgeon, and member of the Corporation of Surgeons of London.

Published 1787
Item ID 74790

excl. VAT

London, J. Murray, 1787. Two volumes in two. 8vo (21.1 x 12.1 cm). Half-titles and title pages to both volumes; 861 pp. [Vol. I: xix, 408, xiv; Vol. II: ii-[iv], 395, xxii]; ten folded, engraved plates. Uniform later, period-style polished half calf over marbled boards. Spines with five raised, gilt-bordered bands; compartments with gilt vignettes and red morocco label with gilt title. Edges speckled red.

First edition of the first English translation of a work by the Italian physicist Felice Fontana (1730-1805), published in the same year as the Italian edition, Trattato del veleno della vipera de' veleni americani. Both are based on the first French edition, which was a widely expanded version of the first, 1767, Italian edition. Fontana is credited with launching modern toxicology (Wikipedia). A second English edition was published in 1795. Repaired tear to first half-title; old stamp of the Medical Society Edinburgh on titles, and a smaller stamp of the same on all plate rectos. Otherwise very good. Adler II, pp. 25-26. Not in Nissen.

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