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Odontography; or, a Treatise on the Comparative Anatomy of the Teeth; their physiological relations, mode of developement, and microscopic structure, in the Vertebrate Animals. Vol. I-II

by Owen, Richard

  • Hardback £2,000.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 38176
  • Published : 1840-1845
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Pages : Text: (6), [ix]-xix, (1), lxxiv, (2), 655, (1); Atlas: (2) A


First edition. Richard Owen's classic work on the comparative anatomy of vertebrate teeth. 'Ths vast storehouse of detail on the structure of teeth was the first large-scale original work by Sir Richard Owen ... The scope of Owen's writing, based on his own dissections and usually illustrated with his own drawings, has hardly been surpassed ... The work covered the whole range of the toothed vertebrates, fossil and extant, and discussed in detail the microscopic structure of the teeth and the physiology of dentition.' (LeFanu, Notable Medical Books). The lithographic plates are by several artists including Richard Owen himself and J. Erxleben, but the majority are drawn on zinc by Lens Aldous, at least some may be from early photomicrographs taken by Joseph Bancroft Reade (1801-1870). Plates are numbered 1, 2, 1-150, plus 62a,b, 63a,b, 64a,b, 65a,b, 70a, 73a, 75a, 87a, 89a, 113a, 119a, 122a. Plate 2 is sometimes found printed in red, but is here in black.

'Owen's comprehensive study of mammalian teeth led him into palaeontology, of which he soon became one of the masters.' (Garrison-Morton). Owen states on p. xv of the Introduction, that in 1837 '... I received form Mr. Darwin many fragments of the teeth of the extict Megatherium, Megalonyx, Mylodon and Toxodon collected during his travels in South America.' Owen was later to became one of the chief opponents of Darwinism.

Richard Owen (1804-1892) was an English biologist, comparative anatomist and paleontologist. He was Hunterian professor at the Royal College of Surgeons, from 1836 to 1856, and subsequently, superintendent of the natural history department of the British Museum. He campaigned for a separate National Museum of Natural History, which eventually resulted in the removal of the natural history collections of the British Museum to a new building at South Kensington: the British Museum (Natural History).

Garrison-Morton, 329; Nissen ZBI, 3408; Hagelin & Coltham, p. 150.


2 vols (Text + Atlas), roy 8vo, later 19th century half morrocco, teg, some rubbing and light staining to boards, minor rubbing to joints with small chip to top of front joint of Atlas. Endpapers foxed, some foxing/spotting to plates, light browning to some pages. Half titles present, Text volume with Errata leaf following p. lxxiv. Atlas with one leaf of Adverts preceding half title. Very good set. From the library of

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